Stellantis is pleading guilty to criminal conduct charges and will pay around $300 million in penalties to resolve a historical emissions fraud investigation relating to the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles business, a news report claims.
Reuters says FCA LLC, which is now part of the Stellantis empire, will plead guilty to a criminal conspiracy charge rooted in the company’s attempt to beat U.S. emissions regulations by fitting special software to more than 100,000 V6 diesel-powered Ram 1500 trucks and Jeep vehicles built between 2014 and 2016.
Although Stellantis has made no official announcement about the alleged deal with the U.S. Justice Department, Reuters’ sources say the details will be made public next week, and the company would then enter a guilty plea at a hearing held later.
Reuters says the current FCA case dragged on over several years as the carmaker and U.S. officials argued over whether or not the company would plead guilty, and over the details of any criminal charges. One FCA employee is awaiting trial over charges he misled regulators, the news agency says.
The news comes three years after FCA agreed to pay $800 million upon reaching a settlement with the Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State of California and other civil claimants, and five years after Volkswagen Group pleaded guilty to criminal charges relating to its own even bigger emissions scandal. VW agreed to pay a whopping $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties in 2017, comprising a $2.8 billion criminal penalty and $1.5 billion to settle civil claims.
Earlier today VW Group settled a civil dieselgate case with English and Welsh drivers. It agreed to pay £193 million ($242 million) to resolve the matter and avoid having to fight the case in court, but made no admission of guilt.