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New AG Ford Announces Settlement With Auto Makers

Suit Was Over Allegations Of Emissions Fraud

January 10, 2019 - 12:19 pm
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CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) - Carson City, NV – More money is coming into the state of Nevada.

On Thursday, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford agreed to settlements with both Fiat Chrysler and Robert Bosch related to “defeat device” software intended to circumvent applicable emissions standards for certain air pollutants. Bosch is alleged to have supplied and programed the software used by Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen in diesel vehicles.

The two agreements, anticipated to be filed later this month, will provide compensation for consumers who purchased or leased Fiat Chrysler vehicles allegedly containing illegal defeat devices, as well as total payments of more than $171 million to 52 jurisdictions nationwide. As a result of these agreements, the State of Nevada will receive a total of $1,845,900.
“Protecting consumers from being deceived is one of the core responsibilities of the office of the Attorney General,” said AG Ford. “This settlement will hold these automakers and suppliers responsible for their deceptive actions, and for polluting our environment.”

The proposed settlements with Fiat Chrysler follow earlier comprehensive settlements reached between Nevada, along with other state, federal and private actors, and Volkswagen for similar allegations.

Fiat Chrysler: Following a nearly two-year investigation, the Office of the Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) alleges that Fiat Chrysler and its U.S. and Italian subsidiaries installed unlawful defeat device software and undisclosed Auxiliary Emissions Control Devices in Model Year 2014-16 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram
1500 diesel vehicles that the automaker sold in the United States, including in Nevada.

The BCP alleges that Fiat Chrysler cheated on federal and state emissions tests by calibrating the vehicles’ software to conceal that the vehicles emitted higher than permitted levels of harmful nitrogen oxides in real-world driving conditions, and misled consumers by falsely claiming the “Eco-Diesel”-branded Jeep SUVs and Ram 1500 trucks were environmentally friendly and compliant with the law in all 50 states. The Fiat Chrysler settlement will require the auto maker to pay Nevada $697,500 for marketing, selling and leasing the vehicles to consumers.

Nationwide, excluding the separate penalties the company will be required to pay to the federal government and California, the multistate agreement is expected to result in payments totaling $72.5 million to 52 jurisdictions nationwide. Nevada’s settlement also prohibits Fiat Chrysler from engaging in future deceptive acts and practices in connection with its dealings with consumers. The states’ settlement also incorporates relief through a related national settlement that requires Fiat Chrysler to:

 Eliminate the defeat device features from the relevant software through a software “flash fix”;

 Provide eligible owners and lessees extended warranties; and 

 Together with co-defendant Bosch, pay eligible owners who take their vehicle to an authorized dealer for the software repair average restitution of approximately $2,908. Lessees and former owners are eligible to receive restitution of $990.

Assuming all owners and lessees nationwide participate, this will result in total available restitution of approximately $307 million, with approximately $3.3 million in relief available to Nevada consumers.

Bosch: Bosch is a multinational engineering company that is a major supplier to the global automotive industry. Among the products, Bosch supplies to its auto manufacturing customers are the electronic control units that house the complex software that controls nearly all aspects of an engine’s performance, including emissions systems.

When Volkswagen, a Bosch customer, was revealed to have systematically utilized defeat device software in its diesel vehicles, several state attorneys general, including the State of Nevada, commenced a separate investigation into the role Bosh played in enabling its customers to potentially violate federal and state emissions regulations.
Under this agreement, the State of Nevada alleges that Bosch facilitated the implementation of the defeat device software in more than 600,000 Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler vehicles over a period that spanned more than a decade. Notwithstanding concerns about the illegality of the devices raised internally to management, and externally to Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler, the State of Nevada alleges that Bosch continued to assist these customers as they implemented the defeat devices and concealed their misconduct from regulators and the public.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement with Nevada, Bosch will pay the State of Nevada $1,148,400. The agreement also includes terms to prevent similar future conduct, requiring Bosch to maintain robust processes to monitor compliance and to refuse to accommodate requests for software development and programming that could result in the installation of defeat device software.

Under a multistate agreement involving Nevada and 49 other jurisdictions, Bosch will pay a total of $98.7 million under the jurisdictions’ consumer protection and environmental laws and make a separate $5 million payment to the National Association of Attorneys General for training and future enforcement purposes.

Senior Deputy Attorneys General Laura Tucker and Lucas Tucker of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection represented Nevada in this settlement.