Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV stated on Thursday it paid $77 million in U.S. civil penalties late last year for not meeting 2016 model year fuel economy regulations, the first major sign the industry is facing hurdles meeting increasing emissions rules.
The Italian-American automaker has been lobbying the Trump administration to modify fuel economy regulations and last year regulators proposed freezing regulations at 2020 model-year levels through 2026.
Shane Karr, head of external affairs for Fiat Chrysler in North America, stated the fuel economy program should be modified instead of “requiring companies to make large compliance payments because assumptions made in 2011 turned out to be wrong.”
Karr added that the automaker is dedicated to enhancing “the fuel efficiency of our fleet and expanding our U.S. manufacturing footprint”.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated in a report dated December 21 that the industry is dealing with $77 million in fines in 2016 and that one unnamed manufacturer “is expected to pay significant civil penalties.” The agency did not comment on Thursday.
The civil penalty payment is much more than in prior model years. The industry paid $2.3 million in civil penalties in 2014 and $40 million in 2011.