Fiat Chrysler faces $79 million U.S. penalty

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Wednesday stated it faces a $79 million U.S. civil penalty for their failure to meet 2017 fuel economy requirements, as regulators reported more car manufactures were falling short of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions standards.

Fiat stated the payment is not expected to have a material influence on its business.

Of 18 significant automakers in the United States, 13 including Fiat Chrysler, failed to adhere to fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for the 2017 model year without using credits, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted.

The agency stated its analysis of model year 2017 vehicles revealed “automakers falling further behind current standards.”

The 2017 model fleet fell 1-1/2 miles per gallon short of the 33.8 mpg standard based on annual performance without consisting credits, NHTSA reported. The shortfall was 1/2 mile per gallon for the 2016 model year.

NHTSA stated more automakers were failing to adhere to standards for the 2018 and 2019 model years, “and the potential penalties on automakers, which are passed along to consumers, are expected to continue to boost.”

The Trump administration has used the widening gap between the emissions of automakers’ U.S. fleets, that are skewing toward larger automobiles, and national vehicle CO2 emissions standards to bolster its case for freezing vehicle emissions and mileage standards at present levels through 2026.

Environmental groups and regulators in California and other states are combating against any rollback in standards, stating tough regulations are required to address climate change and decrease consumer outlays for fuel.

NHTSA and the Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating to finalize as early as November a rewrite of the Obama administration’s fuel efficiency requirements, which call for sharp decreases in fleet-wide emissions by 2026.

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