Fiat Chrysler, in Settlement Talks With U.S., Is Under More Pressure

The authors, who are professors and graduate students, provided The New York Times and several other news organizations with advance copies of the study, which is scheduled to be published next week.

The company said in a statement that it was in talks with the Justice Department and “is seeking a fair and equitable resolution to this matter.” But Fiat Chrysler also said it would defend itself “against any claims that the company deliberately installed defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests.”

The term “defeat device” refers to software installed on vehicles to allow them to deliberately evade pollution standards by detecting when a car is being tested in a laboratory for its emissions levels.

Volkswagen’s use of such illegal software in 600,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche diesel cars sold in the United States, out of 11 million fitted with the device worldwide, has caused it enormous problems.

Six employees have been charged in the United States over the deception and another has pleaded guilty while Volkswagen’s chief executive is being investigated by German prosecutors. The company has already agreed to pay criminal and civil penalties of $4.3 billion under the terms of a plea agreement with American authorities.

But other carmakers are also under scrutiny.

Daimler, the maker of Mercedes cars, has disclosed that the Justice Department is investigating emissions of its diesel vehicles in the United States and that prosecutors in Stuttgart, Germany, have opened a criminal investigation. The French government is investigating possible emissions fraud by Renault-Nissan.

In Europe, diesel pollution has become a major political issue. Volkswagen’s cheating exposed weak enforcement of emissions regulations by governments protecting their domestic automakers. European governments have been pointing fingers at one another, straining relations.

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How Volkswagen’s ‘Defeat Devices’ Worked

Volkswagen admitted that 11 million of its vehicles were equipped with software that was used to cheat on emissions tests. This is how the technology works and what it now means for vehicle owners.



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On Wednesday, the European Union’s executive arm formally accused the Italian government of allowing Fiat Chrysler to sell cars designed to evade emissions tests. The European Commission had already begun similar so-called infringement procedures against seven other nations, including Germany and Britain.

In all the cases, the countries are…

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