Fiat Chrysler is gonna be sued by the Justice Department if the talks fail to resolve differences over the automaker’s alleged violations of U.S. clean-air rules with its diesel vehicles. Expect for the lawsuit to be filled this week. The suit would mark an escalation of the U.S. government’s months-long inquiry and could expose the automaker to significant penalties.
The suit being prepared alleges the company used illegal defeat devices, one of the people said. Such devices — software in computerized systems — improperly disable pollution controls to enhance performance. Volkswagen AG admitted in 2015 to using defeat devices that turned on emissions controls to pass tests but turned them off during driving. Fiat Chrysler is adamant that its controls weren’t designed to cheat emissions tests like Volkswagen’s. Investigators have said Fiat Chrysler hasn’t been able to fully explain the purpose of all the functions to their satisfaction.