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Found 12 results

  1. We have to wonder if Tesla CEO Elon Musk regrets posting this tweet as the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the company. Bloomberg has learned from two sources that federal prosecutors opened a fraud investigation into the company after Musk's tweet sent shares soaring. This follows an inquiry by Securities and Exchange Commission into whether or not Tesla had issued "misleading pronouncements on manufacturing goals and sales targets." The investigation is in the early stages according to a source and its unclear how big of a scope the investigation could take. Prosecutors could look into other statements by Musk concerning Tesla's overall health and the circumstances surrounding Dave Morton, Tesla's former chief accounting officer. “Last month, following Elon’s announcement that he was considering taking the company private, Tesla received a voluntary request for documents from the DOJ and has been cooperative in responding to it. We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process. We respect the DOJ’s desire to get information about this and believe that the matter should be quickly resolved as they review the information they have received,” Tesla said in a statement today. Source: Bloomberg
  2. The U.S. Justice Department has offered Fiat Chrysler Automobiles a possible settlement over its emissions-cheating EcoDiesel engine. But it will likely cost FCA a large chunk of cash. Bloomberg obtained a copy of the settlement offer that was sent to FCA's lawyers. The key detail of the proposed settlement says the settlement “must include very substantial civil penalties” that discourage others future violations and that “adequately reflect the seriousness of the conduct that led to these violations.” The proposed settlement doesn't mention an end of the criminal investigation by the Justice Department. Spokespeople for FCA did not respond for comment. Bloomberg also obtained a term sheet sent by FCA to Government lawyers back in December. In the sheet, FCA acknowledged that the final settlement would include "civil penalties, an emissions fix for the diesel vehicles and environmental mitigation efforts." The mitigation efforts could include "projects to promote low- or zero-emissions “mobility projects”." The saga of FCA's EcoDiesel mess dates back to last January when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused the automaker of having multiple defeat devices installed on the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 - used in the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Since then, FCA has been working with the EPA and Justice Department on trying to clear this mess up. The automaker has also brought their 2017 and 2018 models equipped with the EcoDiesel into compliance via new software and hopes to do the same for the older models. Source: Bloomberg
  3. Daimler finds itself under investigation by both German and American authorities into whether or not they cheated emission tests with their diesel vehicles. As we reported last week, German prosecutors raided various Daimler buildings to find evidence. Now, the company is beginning to search out search criminal defense lawyers in the U.S. for various executives in the investigation being conducted by the Justice Department. Bloomberg has learned from two sources about the lawyer search as the Justice Department plans on interviewing various executives from the company. It is unclear whether the executives are based in Germany, U.S., or both. Spokespeople for both Daimler and the Justice Department declined to comment. Last year, Daimler disclosed in a filing that various authorities in the Europe and the U.S. were investigating the emission control systems and test results on various Mercedes-Benz diesel models. “It is possible that further civil and criminal investigative and enforcement actions and measures relating to Daimler and/or its employees will be taken,” the company wrote in a filing last month. Mercedes-Benz announced earlier this month that it would be stopping efforts on trying to certify 2017 model year diesel vehicles. Source: Bloomberg
  4. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles finds itself in hot water once again. Today, the U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the company in Federal Court for using a “defeat device” on 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 from the 2014 to 2016 model years. This follows news from last week that FCA applied for certification the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as they feature new emission software. "The complaint alleges that FCA equipped nearly 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (Model Years 2014-2016) sold in the United States with at least eight software-based features that were not disclosed in FCA’s applications for certificates of conformity and that affect the vehicles’ emission control systems. The undisclosed software features lessen the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emissions control systems during certain normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emission standards in the laboratory and during standard EPA testing, but during certain normal on-road driving emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) that are much higher than the EPA-compliant level," the Justice Department wrote in a statement today. As we reported last Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department was preparing a suit against FCA if an agreement couldn't be reached with the EPA. The two parties have been in discussions since the EPA first alleged the cheating back in January. "FCA US is currently reviewing the complaint, but is disappointed that the DOJ-ENRD has chosen to file this lawsuit. The Company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the Company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests," FCA said in a statement. Source: Detroit Free Press, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, U.S. Justice Department Press Release is on Page 2 United States Files Complaint Against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against FCA US LLC, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., V.M. Motori S.p.A., and V.M. North America, Inc. (collectively referred to as FCA). The complaint alleges that nearly 104,000 light duty diesel vehicles containing 3.0 liter EcoDiesel engines are equipped with software functions that were not disclosed to regulators during the certification application process, and that the vehicles contain defeat devices. The complaint alleges that the undisclosed software functions cause the vehicles’ emission control systems to perform differently, and less effectively, during certain normal driving conditions than on federal emission tests, resulting in increased emissions of harmful air pollutants. The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to obtain a certificate of conformity before introducing a vehicle into commerce, by demonstrating to EPA that the vehicle will meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution. Manufacturers must disclose in their certification applications all auxiliary emission control devices (e.g. computer software that affects the performance of emission controls based upon operating parameters of the vehicle), justify the presence of any such devices, and explain why those that reduce the effectiveness of emission controls are not “defeat devices.” Motor vehicles equipped with defeat devices cannot be certified. The complaint alleges that FCA equipped nearly 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (Model Years 2014-2016) sold in the United States with at least eight software-based features that were not disclosed in FCA’s applications for certificates of conformity and that affect the vehicles’ emission control systems. The undisclosed software features lessen the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emissions control systems during certain normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emission standards in the laboratory and during standard EPA testing, but during certain normal on-road driving emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) that are much higher than the EPA-compliant level. The complaint alleges that each of these vehicles differs materially from the specifications provided to EPA in the certification applications, and thus the cars are uncertified, in violation of the Clean Air Act. These allegations are consistent with those set forth in notice of violation (“NOV”) that EPA issued to FCA US LLC and FCA NV on Jan. 12, 2017. Following the issuance of the NOV, EPA continued its investigation into the operation of the undisclosed software-based features. Based upon this investigation, the complaint alleges that one or more of these undisclosed software features, alone or in combination with the others, renders inoperative, bypasses and/or defeats the vehicles’ emission control systems, which were installed to make the vehicles comply with Clean Air Act emission standards. In short, the complaint now alleges that the vehicles contain defeat devices. NOx pollution contributes to the formation of harmful smog and soot, exposure to which is linked to a number of respiratory- and cardiovascular-related health effects as well as premature death. Children, older adults, people who are active outdoors (including outdoor workers), and people with heart or lung disease are particularly at risk for health effects related to smog or soot exposure. Nitrogen dioxide formed by NOx emissions can aggravate respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, and may also contribute to asthma development in children. The civil complaint filed today seeks injunctive relief and the assessment of civil penalties. The United States also filed a notice that it will request to transfer its case and fully participate in the pretrial proceedings now initiated in the related multi-district litigation in the Northern District of California. EPA and the California Air Resources Board are continuing in their discussions with FCA to bring the subject vehicles into compliance with the Clean Air Act and California law. The nature and timing of any resolution of this issue are uncertain. Response: Filing by DOJ-ENRD May 23, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US today issued the following statement in response to a civil lawsuit filed against the company by the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ-ENRD”): FCA US has been working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for many months, including extensive testing of the vehicles, to clarify issues related to the Company’s emissions control technology in model-year (MY) 2014-2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. FCA US is currently reviewing the complaint, but is disappointed that the DOJ-ENRD has chosen to file this lawsuit. The Company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the Company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests. As FCA US announced last week, it has developed updated emissions software calibrations that it believes address the concerns of EPA and CARB, and has now formally filed for diesel vehicle emissions certification with the regulators for its 2017 model year (MY) Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. Subject to the permission of EPA and CARB, FCA US intends to install the same modified emissions software in 2014-2016 MY Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. FCA US believes this will address the agencies’ concerns regarding the emissions software calibrations in those vehicles. FCA expects that the installation of these updated software calibrations will improve the 2014-2016 MY vehicles’ emissions performance and does not anticipate any impact on performance or fuel efficiency. Notwithstanding this lawsuit, the Company remains committed to working cooperatively with EPA and CARB to resolve the agencies’ concerns quickly and amicably.
  5. As if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles didn't have enough things on its plate, there is talk about the U.S. Justice Department readying a lawsuit over alleged violations of U.S. clean-air rules with their diesel vehicles Bloomberg learned from two sources that the Justice Department is preparing a lawsuit against FCA alleging the company used illegal defeat devices on models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. The defeat devices in question disable emission controls to improve performance. Sources go on to say the lawsuit could be filed this week if negotiations between FCA and the U.S. Government fail to resolve the differences. Back in January, the EPA accused FCA of violating diesel emission standards on 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel from 2014 to 2016 model years. The company did not disclose eight different software programs installed on the 3.0L EcoDiesel, which is a violation of the Clean Air Act. Since then, the two have been in negotiations to try and resolve these issues according to a source. “In the case of any litigation, FCA US will defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the company deliberately installed defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests. The company believes that any litigation would be counterproductive to ongoing discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board,” FCA said in a emailed statement. Spokespeople for the EPA and Justice Department declined to comment. Source: Bloomberg
  6. The Takata Airbag recall now stands as the largest vehicle recall ever due to how many vehicles around the world use them. In the U.S. alone, 19 auto manufacturers have recalled 49 million vehicles with the airbags that can shoot out shrapnel in the event of an accident. 11 deaths and 184 injuries in the U.S. have been linked to these airbags. Due to this, Takata has been facing numerous lawsuits and investigations. A new report says that Takata is close to closing one of those investigations. The Wall Street Journal has learned from sources that Takata is in negotiations with the U.S. Justice Department about a possible settlement. The deal would see the Japanese supplier pleading guilty to criminal misconduct and paying a fine ranging from hundred of millions to $1 billion. The settlement could be finalized early next year, but sources say the timing could slip. Reaching an agreement with the Justice Department would put Takata in better standing when it comes to another supplier (possibly Autoliv) taking over the company. It would also close one door in a massive scandal. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
  7. The U.S. Justice Department has offered Fiat Chrysler Automobiles a possible settlement over its emissions-cheating EcoDiesel engine. But it will likely cost FCA a large chunk of cash. Bloomberg obtained a copy of the settlement offer that was sent to FCA's lawyers. The key detail of the proposed settlement says the settlement “must include very substantial civil penalties” that discourage others future violations and that “adequately reflect the seriousness of the conduct that led to these violations.” The proposed settlement doesn't mention an end of the criminal investigation by the Justice Department. Spokespeople for FCA did not respond for comment. Bloomberg also obtained a term sheet sent by FCA to Government lawyers back in December. In the sheet, FCA acknowledged that the final settlement would include "civil penalties, an emissions fix for the diesel vehicles and environmental mitigation efforts." The mitigation efforts could include "projects to promote low- or zero-emissions “mobility projects”." The saga of FCA's EcoDiesel mess dates back to last January when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused the automaker of having multiple defeat devices installed on the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 - used in the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Since then, FCA has been working with the EPA and Justice Department on trying to clear this mess up. The automaker has also brought their 2017 and 2018 models equipped with the EcoDiesel into compliance via new software and hopes to do the same for the older models. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  8. As if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles didn't have enough things on its plate, there is talk about the U.S. Justice Department readying a lawsuit over alleged violations of U.S. clean-air rules with their diesel vehicles Bloomberg learned from two sources that the Justice Department is preparing a lawsuit against FCA alleging the company used illegal defeat devices on models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. The defeat devices in question disable emission controls to improve performance. Sources go on to say the lawsuit could be filed this week if negotiations between FCA and the U.S. Government fail to resolve the differences. Back in January, the EPA accused FCA of violating diesel emission standards on 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel from 2014 to 2016 model years. The company did not disclose eight different software programs installed on the 3.0L EcoDiesel, which is a violation of the Clean Air Act. Since then, the two have been in negotiations to try and resolve these issues according to a source. “In the case of any litigation, FCA US will defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the company deliberately installed defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests. The company believes that any litigation would be counterproductive to ongoing discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board,” FCA said in a emailed statement. Spokespeople for the EPA and Justice Department declined to comment. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  9. Daimler finds itself under investigation by both German and American authorities into whether or not they cheated emission tests with their diesel vehicles. As we reported last week, German prosecutors raided various Daimler buildings to find evidence. Now, the company is beginning to search out search criminal defense lawyers in the U.S. for various executives in the investigation being conducted by the Justice Department. Bloomberg has learned from two sources about the lawyer search as the Justice Department plans on interviewing various executives from the company. It is unclear whether the executives are based in Germany, U.S., or both. Spokespeople for both Daimler and the Justice Department declined to comment. Last year, Daimler disclosed in a filing that various authorities in the Europe and the U.S. were investigating the emission control systems and test results on various Mercedes-Benz diesel models. “It is possible that further civil and criminal investigative and enforcement actions and measures relating to Daimler and/or its employees will be taken,” the company wrote in a filing last month. Mercedes-Benz announced earlier this month that it would be stopping efforts on trying to certify 2017 model year diesel vehicles. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  10. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles finds itself in hot water once again. Today, the U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the company in Federal Court for using a “defeat device” on 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 from the 2014 to 2016 model years. This follows news from last week that FCA applied for certification the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as they feature new emission software. "The complaint alleges that FCA equipped nearly 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (Model Years 2014-2016) sold in the United States with at least eight software-based features that were not disclosed in FCA’s applications for certificates of conformity and that affect the vehicles’ emission control systems. The undisclosed software features lessen the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emissions control systems during certain normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emission standards in the laboratory and during standard EPA testing, but during certain normal on-road driving emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) that are much higher than the EPA-compliant level," the Justice Department wrote in a statement today. As we reported last Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department was preparing a suit against FCA if an agreement couldn't be reached with the EPA. The two parties have been in discussions since the EPA first alleged the cheating back in January. "FCA US is currently reviewing the complaint, but is disappointed that the DOJ-ENRD has chosen to file this lawsuit. The Company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the Company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests," FCA said in a statement. Source: Detroit Free Press, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, U.S. Justice Department Press Release is on Page 2 United States Files Complaint Against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against FCA US LLC, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., V.M. Motori S.p.A., and V.M. North America, Inc. (collectively referred to as FCA). The complaint alleges that nearly 104,000 light duty diesel vehicles containing 3.0 liter EcoDiesel engines are equipped with software functions that were not disclosed to regulators during the certification application process, and that the vehicles contain defeat devices. The complaint alleges that the undisclosed software functions cause the vehicles’ emission control systems to perform differently, and less effectively, during certain normal driving conditions than on federal emission tests, resulting in increased emissions of harmful air pollutants. The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to obtain a certificate of conformity before introducing a vehicle into commerce, by demonstrating to EPA that the vehicle will meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution. Manufacturers must disclose in their certification applications all auxiliary emission control devices (e.g. computer software that affects the performance of emission controls based upon operating parameters of the vehicle), justify the presence of any such devices, and explain why those that reduce the effectiveness of emission controls are not “defeat devices.” Motor vehicles equipped with defeat devices cannot be certified. The complaint alleges that FCA equipped nearly 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (Model Years 2014-2016) sold in the United States with at least eight software-based features that were not disclosed in FCA’s applications for certificates of conformity and that affect the vehicles’ emission control systems. The undisclosed software features lessen the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emissions control systems during certain normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emission standards in the laboratory and during standard EPA testing, but during certain normal on-road driving emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) that are much higher than the EPA-compliant level. The complaint alleges that each of these vehicles differs materially from the specifications provided to EPA in the certification applications, and thus the cars are uncertified, in violation of the Clean Air Act. These allegations are consistent with those set forth in notice of violation (“NOV”) that EPA issued to FCA US LLC and FCA NV on Jan. 12, 2017. Following the issuance of the NOV, EPA continued its investigation into the operation of the undisclosed software-based features. Based upon this investigation, the complaint alleges that one or more of these undisclosed software features, alone or in combination with the others, renders inoperative, bypasses and/or defeats the vehicles’ emission control systems, which were installed to make the vehicles comply with Clean Air Act emission standards. In short, the complaint now alleges that the vehicles contain defeat devices. NOx pollution contributes to the formation of harmful smog and soot, exposure to which is linked to a number of respiratory- and cardiovascular-related health effects as well as premature death. Children, older adults, people who are active outdoors (including outdoor workers), and people with heart or lung disease are particularly at risk for health effects related to smog or soot exposure. Nitrogen dioxide formed by NOx emissions can aggravate respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, and may also contribute to asthma development in children. The civil complaint filed today seeks injunctive relief and the assessment of civil penalties. The United States also filed a notice that it will request to transfer its case and fully participate in the pretrial proceedings now initiated in the related multi-district litigation in the Northern District of California. EPA and the California Air Resources Board are continuing in their discussions with FCA to bring the subject vehicles into compliance with the Clean Air Act and California law. The nature and timing of any resolution of this issue are uncertain. Response: Filing by DOJ-ENRD May 23, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US today issued the following statement in response to a civil lawsuit filed against the company by the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ-ENRD”): FCA US has been working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for many months, including extensive testing of the vehicles, to clarify issues related to the Company’s emissions control technology in model-year (MY) 2014-2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. FCA US is currently reviewing the complaint, but is disappointed that the DOJ-ENRD has chosen to file this lawsuit. The Company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the Company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests. As FCA US announced last week, it has developed updated emissions software calibrations that it believes address the concerns of EPA and CARB, and has now formally filed for diesel vehicle emissions certification with the regulators for its 2017 model year (MY) Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. Subject to the permission of EPA and CARB, FCA US intends to install the same modified emissions software in 2014-2016 MY Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. FCA US believes this will address the agencies’ concerns regarding the emissions software calibrations in those vehicles. FCA expects that the installation of these updated software calibrations will improve the 2014-2016 MY vehicles’ emissions performance and does not anticipate any impact on performance or fuel efficiency. Notwithstanding this lawsuit, the Company remains committed to working cooperatively with EPA and CARB to resolve the agencies’ concerns quickly and amicably. View full article
  11. The Takata Airbag recall now stands as the largest vehicle recall ever due to how many vehicles around the world use them. In the U.S. alone, 19 auto manufacturers have recalled 49 million vehicles with the airbags that can shoot out shrapnel in the event of an accident. 11 deaths and 184 injuries in the U.S. have been linked to these airbags. Due to this, Takata has been facing numerous lawsuits and investigations. A new report says that Takata is close to closing one of those investigations. The Wall Street Journal has learned from sources that Takata is in negotiations with the U.S. Justice Department about a possible settlement. The deal would see the Japanese supplier pleading guilty to criminal misconduct and paying a fine ranging from hundred of millions to $1 billion. The settlement could be finalized early next year, but sources say the timing could slip. Reaching an agreement with the Justice Department would put Takata in better standing when it comes to another supplier (possibly Autoliv) taking over the company. It would also close one door in a massive scandal. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) View full article
  12. We have to wonder if Tesla CEO Elon Musk regrets posting this tweet as the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the company. Bloomberg has learned from two sources that federal prosecutors opened a fraud investigation into the company after Musk's tweet sent shares soaring. This follows an inquiry by Securities and Exchange Commission into whether or not Tesla had issued "misleading pronouncements on manufacturing goals and sales targets." The investigation is in the early stages according to a source and its unclear how big of a scope the investigation could take. Prosecutors could look into other statements by Musk concerning Tesla's overall health and the circumstances surrounding Dave Morton, Tesla's former chief accounting officer. “Last month, following Elon’s announcement that he was considering taking the company private, Tesla received a voluntary request for documents from the DOJ and has been cooperative in responding to it. We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process. We respect the DOJ’s desire to get information about this and believe that the matter should be quickly resolved as they review the information they have received,” Tesla said in a statement today. Source: Bloomberg View full article

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