Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has begun discussing the terms of settling a lawsuit in the US related to the automaker’s alleged use of diesel “cheat devices” to get around emissions requirements established by the Environmental Protection Agency. The suit was brought forth by lawyers representing owners of some of the nearly-104k affected vehicles sold since 2014.
Fiat Chrysler was accused by the EPA in January of this year of installing software on models equipped with its 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 that could alter the operation of the emissions control system to pass testing, but allow higher-than-allowed emissions in many other conditions. Company CEO Sergio Marchionne said at the time that no one under the employ of the automaker “would try something as stupid as cheating on diesel tests.” Months later, in May, the US Department of Justice brought a lawsuit against the automaker for the alleged offense, and numerous suits from vehicle owners were later filed.
Now, Automotive News reports that court settlement master Kenneth Feinberg, who oversaw Volkswagen’s compensations to US diesel customers, says that term sheets – or proposed settlement documents – have been exchanged. He says the term sheets were discussed on Tuesday during a meeting between the owners’ legal representation, Fiat Chrysler, the DoJ, CARB, and automotive supplier Bosch, which is also being sued by owners.
According to Feinberg, the meeting was “a very healthy discussion on how we might get to yes.”
Fiat Chrysler still denies any wrongdoing, claiming that there was no effort made to intentionally skirt emissions regulations with its diesel vehicles.