EPA Accuses Fiat Chrysler of Emissions Cheating, Following Initial Consumer Lawsuit from Hagens Berman Against Automaker
Lawsuit accused Fiat Chrysler and Bosch of deceptive conduct by colluding to cheat emissions in its EcoDiesel vehicles
SEATTLE – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued official accusations against Fiat Chrysler stating the automaker used a “secret software” that allowed illegally high emissions in its EcoDiesel models, following a consumer lawsuit brought by Hagens Berman against Fiat Chrysler for EcoDiesel emissions cheating in December 2016.
“We’re pleased to see the EPA hot on the trail following our class-action lawsuit that called out Fiat Chrysler and Bosch for what we believe to be outright emissions fraud, akin to VW’s Dieselgate scandal,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman.
Hagens Berman was the first law firm in the nation to file against Volkswagen after the Dieselgate scandal, and broke news of Fiat Chrysler’s emissions cheating in a lawsuit filed Dec. 1, 2016, stating the automaker sold vehicles equipped with an emissions system that during normal driving conditions emits many multiples of the allowed level of pollutants such as NOx (mono-nitrogen oxides), despite the vehicles being marketed as eco-friendly.
The EPA’s Jan. 12, 2017 accuses Fiat Chrysler of “violations of the Clean Air Act for installing and failing to disclose engine management software.” The allegations cover roughly 104,000 vehicles, all of which are included in the consumer suit previously filed by Hagens Berman. The EPA’s Notice of Violation and findings are also consistent with the firm’s vehicle testing backing the lawsuit.
Hagens Berman estimates that consumers paid premiums of up to $4,700 for vehicles that fail to meet federal emissions standards and are on the road illegally. The defeat device affects 140,000 Dodge RAM 1500s and 9,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee models, selling at 3,000 per month, according to the firm.
The lawsuit seeks reimbursement for a proposed nationwide class of consumers who purchased or leased the affected vehicles, as well as injunctive relief and equitable relief for FCA and Bosch’s misconduct related to the design, manufacture, marketing, sale and lease of affected vehicles.
“Bosch and Fiat Chrysler took full advantage of consumers’ wishes to make a conscious, ecofriendly purchasing decision by vigorously marketing its EcoDiesel line as ‘clean diesel,’ as a means to charge premium prices – more than $4,700 more,” Berman said.
In its EcoDiesel advertising, FCA specifically targets consumers “who want to drive an efficient, environmentally-friendly truck without sacrificing capability or performance.” It also claims the RAM 1500 was “the NAFTA market’s first and only light-duty pickup powered by clean diesel technology.”
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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.