A federal district court has approved a settlement and consent decree between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) covering complaints of emissions cheating on vehicles using the EcoDiesel 3L V-6 engine.
Settlement of the class-action lawsuit and approval of the consent decree clears the way for the automaker to pay owners of the vehicles $3,075 for inflated performance claims. Lessees and owners who sold their trucks will get up to $990. The settlements reached in January contain no findings of wrongdoing, nor admission of any wrongdoing by FCA.
In addition to cash payments, vehicle owners will receive free engine-control software updates and an extended powertrain warranty for diesel-powered 2014-to-2016 Ram 1500 pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. The software update does not affect average fuel economy, drivability, durability, engine noise, vibration, or other driving characteristics.
As part of the separate consent decree with the EPA and CARB, FCA has agreed to apprise an independent auditor of the status of various initiatives within the company, such as training advancements and certification process improvements. To date, FCA has launched 75% of these initiatives with about 33% complete. https://ww2.arb.ca.gov; https://www.epa.gov; https://www.ecodieselsettlement.com; https://www.fcagroup.com
Automatic emergency braking rollout continues
Ten automakers report equipping more than half of the vehicles they produced between September 1, 2017, and August 31, 2018, with automatic emergency braking (AEB), according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla leads the pack with all its vehicles including AEB (Mercedes-Benz and Volvo are higher than 90%), and Jaguar/Land Rover trails the industry with no cars equipped with such systems. Automakers in 2015 voluntarily committed to having the crash-avoidance technology on all vehicles by Sept. 1, 2022.
Based on reporting by the 20 manufacturers that committed to adding the safety feature, about half of the vehicles produced during that period were equipped with AEB. This is an increase from less than one-third for the 2018 model year, according to reports that included sales figures for both years.
Toyota remains the frontrunner in terms of the total number of vehicles produced with AEB. The automaker equipped 2.2 million (90%) of its 2.5 million vehicles with AEB.
AEB systems include forward collision warning (FCW) and crash imminent braking (CIB) to help prevent and mitigate front-to-rear crashes.
“Technologies like AEB can help make cars safer on the roads, which means Americans are safer when traveling,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King says.