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UK legal action launched against Fiat Chrysler over alleged emission breaches

Lily Canter
·2-min read
Fiat Chrysler Automotives denies all claims of emissions fraud. Credit: Getty.
Fiat Chrysler Automotives denies all claims of emissions fraud. Photo: Getty.

Law firm PGMBM has issued a case in the High Court of Justice in London against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA.MI) over an alleged diesel emissions scandal.

The case claims that half a million drivers in England and Wales could be compensated £10,000 ($12,939) each — which technically projects to a potential £5bn liability for Fiat Chrysler — related to vehicles they bought or leased since 2008.

The case revolves around Fiat Chrysler allegedly misleading customers and authorities over the harmful level of emissions produced by certain models.

A Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spokesperson told Yahoo Finance UK: “FCA believes this claim to be totally without merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves against it.”

What is the case and the history?

It is alleged that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles misled customers and authorities concerning the harmful level of emissions produced by certain models of Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Suzuki and Iveco diesel vehicles.

Drivers who bought or leased these vehicles could now be entitled to compensation as part of this case – £10,000 or more each, according to PGMBM.

In February 2016 Environmental Action Germany claimed tests performed on a diesel Fiat 500X showed the vehicle exceeded Euro 6 NOx limits by 11 to 22 times.

A September 2016 report by the European Federation for Transport and Environment also ranked Fiat Euro 6 engines as the worst in Europe for excess NOx emissions.

In 2019, they agreed to a settlement worth $800m (£612m) to resolve claims from the US Justice Department and the state of California relating to the use of illegal software that produced false results on diesel-emissions tests.

The new claim, which is the first in the UK, alleges that Fiat Chrysler committed fraud by manufacturing vehicles whose true diesel emissions far exceeded the limits imposed by European Union and UK laws.

PGMBM managing partner Tom Goodhead said: “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have misled drivers about the true diesel emissions that many of their vehicles produce. This is yet another instance of a huge automotive firm conning consumers – with a significant impact on the environment and our collective wellbeing.”

Affected vehicles, according to PGMBM:

Table 1: Provisional make-up of the affected vehicles

Make / Model

1.3 litre

1.6 litre

2.0 litre

3.0 litre

3.0 litre (V6)

Fiat

500

500C

500L

500X

Doblo

Fiorino

Panda

Punto

Punto Evo

Grande Punto

Qubo

Tipo

500L

500X

Bravo

Doblo

Grande

Punto

Punto Evo

Scudo

Talento

Tipo

500X

Bravo

Doblo

Ducato

Scudo

Talento

Ducato

-

Alfa Romeo

MiTo

Guilietta

MiTo

159

Brera

Guilietta

Spider

-

-

Jeep

-

Compass

Renegade

Cherokee

Compass

Renegade

-

Grand-Cherokee

Commander

Suzuki

-

SX4

Vitara

S-Cross

-

-

-

Iveco

All models