The California Air Resources Board has announced a settlement with Fiat Powertrain Technologies Industrial S.p.A for emissions-related violations affecting nearly 2000 on-road and off-road diesel engines. The settlement includes a mandatory recall of affected vehicles and $6.4 million in penalties.
The case began after the company informed CARB in 2015 that it had made unapproved repairs and modifications to CARB-certified on-road engines. The repairs, commonly called “field fixes” because they are made after the vehicles have been sold, were intended to address an oil leakage problem in 2011 to 2014 model-year engines.
Emission-related field fixes must be reviewed and approved by CARB to ensure they don’t increase emissions. Fiat failed to inform CARB about the fixes when they were made and also disclosed that it had certified 2014 to 2016 model year off-road engines using incorrect emissions data. Fiat fully cooperated with CARB’s investigation.
As part of its settlement with CARB, Fiat must implement a full, mandatory recall of vehicles equipped with the on-road engines in order to correct the oil leakage issues and provide a one-year warranty for the replaced parts. Fiat must also conduct additional in-use and on-board diagnostic testing on several repaired vehicles containing these engines.
The company will pay $2 million of its $6.4 million penalty to a Supplemental Environmental Project to install air filtration systems in facilities with sensitive populations, such as schools, senior centers, and hospitals throughout the Bay Area. That program is administered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
The remaining $4.4 million will be paid to the Air Pollution Control Fund to support air pollution research and education.