It comes just months after a separate emissions probe regarding the company's EcoDiesels.
The FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) US unit that sits under the Stellantis Group is set to hand over $5.6 million following a California investigation into violations of air quality regulations. Years after the Dieselgate saga, it appears that some automakers are still flouting emissions regulations.
Over 30,000 vehicles are involved in this settlement, and all were equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 Hemi engine. This comes just months after FCA US was fined about $300 million for deceitful emissions testing relating to vehicles with an entirely different engine, the EcoDiesel, in what was dubbed Dieselgate 2.0.
The V8 engines involved in the latest payout were equipped to 2012-2018 model year Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, and Ram 1500 models.
According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), these vehicles did not meet certification emissions standards. As per Reuters, the $5.6 million includes a $2.8 million civil penalty and $2.8 million that will go towards introducing more electric school buses to schools in the South Coast Air Basin. FCA cooperated with the investigation after the emissions problem was found during state testing.
"This case is a perfect example of why CARB's compliance testing is so important in protecting the state's air quality and public health," said Steven Cliff, CARB Executive Officer. On the other side, Stellantis somewhat sheepishly said that "while we accept responsibility, this does not reflect our strategy for the future."
Stellantis made mention of the 25 EVs it plans to introduce in the US by 2030, a group that includes the Ram 1500 EV and Jeep Recon SUV. But considering that it will be years before gas engines are phased out entirely, the company will still have to comply with emissions standards or face further penalties from authorities.
Besides the obvious fact that FCA US tried to circumvent emissions regulations, the latest ruling underlines the age of the Hemi V8 and explains why Jeep and others are gradually replacing it with smaller inline-six engines. The Dodge Challenger and Charger are also losing their V8s.
The separate emissions probe into EcoDiesel engines earlier this year involved the use of deceptive software features that helped vehicles equipped with this engine fraudulently meet the current standards. FCA has now had two settlements with California over the past four years.