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U.S. government sues Fiat Chrysler over excess emissions

Staff Writer |
The U.S. government has filed a civil lawsuit accusing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of using software to bypass emission controls in diesel vehicles, the Environmental Protection Agency said.

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The U.S. Justice Department suit is a procedural step that may ramp up pressure on Fiat Chrysler. The suit could ultimately help lead to a settlement, as in an earlier probe of rival Volkswagen that will cost VW up to $25 billion, but which affected a much larger number of vehicles.

VW admitted to intentionally cheating while Fiat Chrysler denies wrongdoing.

The lawsuit says the Italian-American automaker placed undeclared "defeat devices," or auxiliary emissions controls, in 2014-2016 Fiat Chrysler diesel vehicles.

In January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California accused Fiat Chrysler of illegally using undisclosed software to allow excess diesel emissions in 104,000 U.S. 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks.

EPA said in January the maximum fine is about $4.6 billion.

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