Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Fiat Chrysler Suit Said to Be Filed by U.S. as Soon as Today

  • Automaker last week submitted fixes for diesel engines
  • Emissions probe involves 104,000 Ram pickups, Jeep SUVs

The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to sue Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV over the automaker’s alleged violations of U.S. clean-air rules with its diesel vehicles, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The civil lawsuit may be filed as soon as soon as Tuesday, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing the confidential matter. The complaint would follow months of negotiations to bridge a divide between the company and regulators over the nature of emissions calibrations used on Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram 1500 pickups powered by diesel engines. 

The automaker’s U.S. shares fell 2.4 percent to $10.50 at 12:15 p.m. in New York. The stock had gained 18 percent this year through Monday.

The EPA alleged in January that Fiat Chrysler sold 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram 1500 pickups with diesel engines containing “auxiliary emissions control devices” that the company failed to disclose to the agency.

Fiat Chrysler has denied it sought to evade diesel tests, as Volkswagen AG admitted to doing in 2015. The Italian-American automaker said last week it had proposed a fix to its diesel emissions calibrations in a bid to resolve the EPA’s concerns with the vehicles. If the agency approves the proposed settings for the automaker’s 2017 diesels, the company said, the carmaker would then make the same modifications to the older vehicles under scrutiny.

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