Attorney General Announces Settlements with Fiat Chrysler and Bosch for Unlawful Emissions Control "Defeat Devices"
January 8, 2020
(Anchorage, AK) – Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson today announced that Fiat Chrysler and auto parts supplier Robert Bosch paid over $400,000 to settle consumer protection claims arising out of allegations they programmed and installed emissions “defeat devices” in Ram 1500 pick-up trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs sold in Alaska. Fiat Chrysler will correct the emissions systems and compensate qualifying owners and lessees of affected vehicles.
Following a nearly two-year investigation led by the attorneys general from several states, Alaska Attorney General Clarkson filed suit against Fiat Chrysler for installing unlawful software in vehicles sold in Alaska. The Attorney General found that Fiat Chrysler misled Alaskan consumers regarding the pollution emitted from their vehicles by installing undisclosed hardware and manipulating the vehicles’ software.
Fiat Chrysler has paid Alaska $194,375 to settle claims that it deceptively and unfairly marketed, sold, and leased the vehicles. Alaska’s settlement prohibits Fiat Chrysler from engaging in future unfair or deceptive practices, and requires Fiat Chrysler to carry out its obligations under a related settlement in multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) in California. The MDL settlement resolves claims brought by a national class of consumers and requires Fiat Chrysler to eliminate the defeat devices and provide extended warranties and restitution of approximately $990 to $2,908 to eligible owners and lessees of affected vehicles.
According to Attorney General Clarkson, “This settlement holds Fiat Chrysler accountable for misrepresenting its compliance with emissions standards. The Department of Law will continue to enforce consumer protection laws so that Alaskans can make informed choices about the vehicles they drive.”
Bosch is a multinational engineering company and supplied the units housing software for the emissions systems that were part of this investigation. Attorney General Clarkson concluded that Bosch facilitated implementation of the defeat devices in more than 600,000 Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler vehicles over more than a decade. Despite concerns about the illegal defeat devices, the Attorney General found that Bosch continued to assist the implementation of those devices and concealed their misconduct from regulators and the public. Under the terms of the settlement, Bosch has paid Alaska $215,280 in civil penalties.
Attorney General Clarkson noted, “The Fiat Chrysler and Bosch settlements serve to compensate Alaskans and the State for the harm caused by the defeat devices and as a warning to other manufacturers that they will be held accountable for any effort to mislead Alaskan consumers or violate Alaska laws.”
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Department Media Contact:Assistant Attorney General Maria Bahr at (907) 269-5285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.