Minnesota will receive roughly $3.5 million from a vehicle company and parts maker accused of conspiring to cheat on pollution controls. According to lawsuits, Fiat Chrysler installed software made by Bosch that was designed to thwart U.S. emissions tests.
Fifty-two jurisdictions, including Minnesota, sued both companies. Minnesota’s share of a national settlement of more than $170 million will be more than $1 million from Fiat Chrysler and more than $2.4 million from Bosch, which is also a customer of Volkswagen, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Tuesday.
Despite the settlement, Fiat Chrysler continues to maintain that the computer software in its vehicles was not illegal and not an attempt to circumvent pollution laws.
In addition, owners of Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicles and Ram 1500 trucks from model years 2014 to 2016 will have their vehicles’ emission systems fixed for free and receive extended warranties.
Some vehicle owners may also be entitled to individual compensation. To find it more, go to EcoDieselSettlement.com.
Over more than a decade, Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler sold more than 13,000 vehicles with fraudulent emissions reports in Minnesota, lawsuits alleged. The scam involved computer software that made vehicles appear to meet pollution guidelines during tests, according to the suits. But in their on-road performance they were actually spewing pollution at rates up to 35 times the legal limits.
In a bid to attract buyers, Fiat Chrysler marketed vehicles with the bogus emission test results as “Eco-Diesels.” More than 1,700 were sold in Minnesota.
“Fiat Chrysler and Bosch falsely promised Minnesota consumers environmentally friendly vehicles, when in reality they sold them heavy polluters that harmed them and Minnesota’s environment,” Ellison said in a statement. The settlements, Ellison added, “hold both companies accountable for their illegal scheme.”