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Chrysler Loses Bid to Dismiss Diesel Emission Cheating Claims

March 16, 2018
A judge ruled that owners of 150,000 Dodge Ram and Jeep Grand Cherokee models can proceed toward trial.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile NV’s U.S. unit was denied a quick escape from a lawsuit accusing the carmaker of rigging diesel engines with emissions control defeat devices similar to those installed in 11 million Volkswagens.

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled Thursday that owners of 150,000 Dodge Ram and Jeep Grand Cherokee models across eight U.S. states can proceed toward trial over allegations that software in their vehicles was designed to hide emissions up to 20 times the legal limit. Fiat Chrysler promised in court to provide a fix for the cars.

The Michigan-based unit of Fiat Chrysler was the first U.S. carmaker to be sued after Wolfsburg, Germany-based VW admitted to malfeasance in September 2015 and committed to spending more than $24.5 billion on fines and penalties including buybacks across North America. The Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro law firm in Seattle has filed similar complaints against Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., along with their supplier Robert Bosch GmbH.

By Kartikay Mehrotra

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