Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the automaker and supplier Bosch of cheating on diesel emissions tests has been overruled by Judge Edward Chen of the US District Court for Northern California, the Detroit Free Press reports. The case, which implicates roughly 100k 2014-’16 Ram 1500 pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs powered by FCA’s 3.0L EcoDiesel engine, will proceed.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision, giving a green light to our claims,” said lead plaintiffs’ counsel Elizabeth Cabraser in a statement about Thursday’s decision. “We will continue to hold Fiat and Bosch accountable for the economic and environmental harm they caused. Fiat Chrysler cheated U.S. emissions tests and emitted harmful pollutants at illegally high levels far in excess of what would be considered environmentally friendly.”
Apart from this civil suit, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is still facing a diesel emissions lawsuit from the US Department of Justice. A report last month said that in order for the automaker to settle the DoJ case, it would have to agree to a sweeping recall of all affected EcoDiesel-powered vehicles and “very substantial civil penalties.”
Fiat Chrysler is accused of engaging in the same sort of behavior as Volkswagen eventually confessed to: equipping diesel-powered passenger vehicles with software capable of determining whether the car might be undergoing emissions testing, and altering its powertrain behavior accordingly to meet particulate requirements. During normal operation, the powertrain reverts to “normal” behavior, emitting harmful pollutants well in excess of what’s legally permitted.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has repeatedly denied that the automaker knowingly acted to deceive regulators with its diesel vehicles.