Fiat Chrysler under investigation by U.S. Justice Department over emissions

Thursday we learned that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating Fiat Chrysler U.S. (FCA) regarding alleged software-based circumvention of emissions standards. On Friday, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Department of Justice is also looking into that same alleged failure of its responsibility to disclose the use of emissions altering software for possible criminal prosecution.

The probe into FCA is similar to the one that Volkswagen encountered in its own emissions scandal, though Bloomberg reports that fewer overall vehicles are involved in the Department of Justice’s inquiry into Fiat Chrysler. It isn’t clear how far along the DoJ’s investigation is at this stage, only that it’s underway.

The DoJ’s criminal investigation into Volkswagen resulted in criminal charges against six high-ranking employees of the automaker, who were indicted on Wednesday. FCA CEO Sergio Machine said during a media call that his company’s issues are “nothing” like the Volkswagen situation, however.

“We are confident that no one at FCA committed any fraud or tried not to be compliant,” Marchionne said, as reported by Bloomberg. “We may be technically deficient but not immoral. We never installed any defeat device.”

FCA released a statement on Thursday saying their emissions management software “meet the applicable requirements” set out by the EPA, and do not constitute “defeat devices” designed to circumvent emissions standards as laid out by the agency.