Fiat Chrysler will pay a $9.5 million (£7.4 million) civil penalty to settle allegations it deceived investors by not revealing that it carried out only a limited internal review of its compliance with emissions regulations, the top U.S. securities regulator stated on Monday.
Fiat Chrysler, which did not admit or reject wrongdoing to resolve the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) probe, refused to comment on the fine that stems from the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal.
The Italian-American automaker in January 2019 agreed to a settlement worth about $800 million to resolve claims from the U.S. Justice Department and California Air Resources Board (CARB) that it used illegal software that produced misleading results on diesel-emissions tests.
The SEC said in February 2016 that the automaker said it carried out an internal audit that confirmed its vehicles complied with emissions regulations but did not sufficiently reveal the limited scope of its internal audit. At the time, engineers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and CARB had raised concerns to the automaker regarding the emissions systems in some diesel vehicles.
Regulators in last year said Fiat Chrysler used “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests in real-world driving.
The U.S. government has stepped-up enforcement of automobile emissions rules after Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to evade emissions rules and has now incurred over $30 billion in penalties and other costs.
“At a time of heightened scrutiny of automakers’ regulatory compliance, (Fiat Chrysler) provided misleading assurances to investors by not disclosing the limitations of its internal audit,” said Joel R. Levin, the regional director of the SEC’s Chicago office.