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Significant Fines And Recalls Proposed In Settlement In Fiat Diesel Scandal By U.S. Justice Department

Significant Fines And Recalls Proposed In Settlement In Fiat Diesel Scandal By U.S. Justice Department
Payment of a substantial but undisclosed civil penalty and a recall of over 104,000 vehicles would be the conditions that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles would have to adhere to if the company wants to settle its emissions-cheating lawsuit. This was offered by the U.S. Justice Department. 
According to a copy of the settlement offer that is reportedly available with the media, the Italian-American car company was made the offer for settlement based a framework that entails the car marker taking measures that would have to be taken to alleviate its past pollution and undertake internal alterations to stop potential future defilements of environmental rules. This offer was made to the car marker last week.
Justice Department lawyers wrote in a Jan. 27 letter to Fiat Chrysler attorneys that the  settlement “must include very substantial civil penalties” that are big enough to prevent future violations and that “adequately reflect the seriousness of the conduct that led to these violations”.
There were no comments from the auto company. There was a fall in the shares of Fiat in the U.S. listings by as much as 14 percent following the news.
Civil violations of clean-air regulations that were violated and reported in a complaint filed May 23 would be resolved after the two parties reach a final settlement. An illegal software was made use of by the car maker for getting through laboratory emissions tests even while the company permitted the emissions from its diesel vehicles to be more than the on-road pollution standards, said the Justice Department.
The potential settlement would not put an end to the criminal investigation against Fiat Chrysler related to its diesel emissions and being conducted by the Justice Department.
Fiat Chrysler was alleged to have violated the Clean Air Act and the civil complaint in the court was filed for the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.
“We are engaging in conversations but I’m not involved in the settlement talks,” Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, said to a television channel. “It’s interesting that Fiat Chrysler has the same team of lawyers representing them that worked with VW.”
Talks between the two parties were ongoing for several months now as directed by a court-appointed settlement master Kenneth Feinberg.
The letter said that the issues that Fiat Chrysler wanted to settle included environmental mitigation efforts, an emissions fix for the diesel vehicles and civil penalties, and the company has confirmed that it had expressed the need for settlement in a letter to the government lawyers.

The acknowledgement was issued by the company in a term sheet. In the December term sheet, the company is reported to have put forward proposal to commit to projects to promote low- or zero-emissions “mobility projects”. This proposal was one that would be willingly considered by the regulators, the Justice Department had said. 

Christopher J. Mitchell

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