Fiat Chrysler Settlement Fails to Protect Consumers

Media Contacts
Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Public Statement of Adam Garber, U.S. PIRG Consumer Watchdog

U.S. PIRG Education Fund

PHILADELPHIA — The United States Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency have announced that Fiat Chrysler will pay about $800 million to settle charges that it deceived customers and violated environmental protections in relation to the sale of more than 100,000 diesel vehicles.

In response to the settlement, Adam Garber, Consumer Watchdog for U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group), issued the following statement:

“While we are glad that Fiat Chrysler is paying something for damaging the health of Americans and deceiving customers, this settlement does not go far enough. It neither ensures these violations of the public trust won’t happen again nor makes consumers whole.

“Instead of taking full responsibility, the company continues to argue it was doing a service for its customers. It strains credulity to classify  an action that caused asthma attacks and respiratory problems across the country as something customers wanted or expected when buying a supposedly clean diesel vehicle.

“In addition, this settlement is dimes on the dollar compared to the federal settlement with Volkswagen for essentially the same illegal action. The settlement fails to invest in electric vehicles and other clean energy technology, which could repair the harm done to our health. Equally troubling, customers were not given a buyback option, if they wished, for these deceptively marketed vehicles.”