Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) shares dropped over 3 percent in New York trading on Friday in middle of investor concern about allegations mounted in court filings concerning alleged excess diesel emissions.
The U.S. Justice Department submitted a civil lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler and its VM Motori SpA unit in May last year, alleging the automaker of unlawfully utilizing software to bypass emission controls in 104,000 diesel automobiles sold since 2014.
Court documents submitted by lawyers taking legal action against Fiat Chrysler on behalf of owners this week in an amended complaint mentioned emails that VM Motori knew as early as 2010 that an auxiliary emissions control device (AECD) would be illegal if kept secret from regulators.
Fiat Chrysler shares dropped about 3.2 percent after Bloomberg News reported on the documents previously on Friday. The shares dropped 1.7 percent at $21.81 in early afternoon.
The lawsuit revealed emails from 2010 between a Fiat Chrysler (FCA) powertrain division worker and VM Motori about if the AECD used “cycle detection” – a mechanism permitting vehicles to find when they were being tested to observe if they meet regulatory standards, and modify emissions. VM Motori frequently admitted that an AECD employed cycle detection, the suit stated.
The company denies misbehavior, saying it never engaged in any intentional strategy to cheat emissions rules. “It is inappropriate to draw conclusions from isolated communications and internal deliberations, without the more detailed context that is part of the reviews FCA is conducting,” the company stated.