Shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles fell on Thursday in the United States after reports regarding a potential civil suit against the company surfaced.
According to the reports, the Justice Department is allegedly planning to file a case against Fiat Chrysler in connection with claims of the company selling more than 100,000 vehicles that emit excessive diesel emissions.
Excess Diesel Emissions
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was accused last January by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board of illegally selling more than 100,000 vehicles that emit excessive diesel emissions through an undisclosed software.
The vehicles that reportedly run under the undisclosed software with excess diesel emissions included Jeep Grand Cherokees from 2014 to 2016 and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks.
The investigations and probes were held due to the extended regulatory investigations held due to the emissions test scandal from Volkswagen last year.
VM Motori SpA which is a Fiat Chrysler subsidiary is reportedly the manufacturer of the said vehicles while Robert Bosch GmbH was the supplier of the component parts of the engines involved in the investigations. Bosch is currently in the middle of multiple lawsuits regarding the vehicles from the FCA.
The Environmental Protection Agency has been reportedly in talks with the California Air Resources Board regarding the excess emissions of specific FCA vehicles and whether the following groups and agencies would push through with the approval of the company’s 2017 diesel models.
A hearing with a federal judge has been set next week to hear the series of lawsuits filed against the company in the past weeks.
The FCA has made a statement earlier this week stating that any litigation would be counterproductive to the ongoing talks between the EPA and CARB.
Meanwhile, the European Commission has filed a legal action against Italy for the failure in their part to address the emission test cheating allegations against Fiat Chrysler that the country is responsible for.
Shares of the company crashed on Thursday by as much as 7% after reports of the US Justice Department preparing to file against the company surfaced. The said case could leave the company with billion dollars worth of penalties. The company is also facing separate cases from the EPA. Fiat Chrysler led most of the losses in European markets on Wednesday due to these reports.
According to the company, it is currently making sure that possible relevant documents are preserved by the company. The FCA also stated that regulators are currently testing the company and hope to be able to install modified emissions software without the need to conduct any hardware changes to be able to address the concerns of the agencies
Fiat-Chrysler recorded an intraday low of €9.00 on Thursday after their shares inched 6% lower in Milan sending the Stoxx Europe 600 Automobiles & Parts index down by 0.44%. This is the stock’s biggest fall since January which makes its losses for the past week by around 14%. The stock is set to decline further as the hearing next week looms but is expected to turn into the upside once the company shows necessary papers and evidence that will deem the claims against them false.