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Ram to Cop $2 Billion Bill for Emissions Cheating Software

Ram will recall 900,000 vehicles after it was discovered they had fitted illegal emissions-defeating software....

Ram has been very naughty indeed after being discovered to have fitted illegal emissions-defeating software to their pick-ups over a six-year period. This means that over 900,000 cars will be recalled in the U.S. as well as having to pay a $2 billion USD ($2.98 billion AUD) settlement.

Reuters has reported that diesel engine specialists, Cummins, will have to pay a record $1.67 million USD ($2.49 billion AUD) fine after a lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Justice Department and the State of California was finalised recently.

It’s understood that Cummins fitted “defeat devices” that either bypass or completely disable the engine’s emissions sensors and onboard computers in around 630,000 Ram 2500 and 3500 pick-ups built between 2013 and 2019.

Cummins did not admit to any wrongdoing under the settlement agreement, though EPA enforcement chief, David Uhlmann, argued that “Cummins would not be paying $2 billion today to settle these claims if the company did nothing wrong.”

The Justice Department also said that Cummins had “undisclosed auxiliary emission software” on 330,000 pick-up truck engines built between 2019 and 2023.

The settlement is still subject to court approval but would see Cummins paying $1.48 billion to the federal government, $164 million to the California Air Resources Board and $33 million to the California Attorney General’s Office.

It is the largest-ever civil penalty for a Clean Air Act violation, according to the Justice Department.

Additionally, Cummins will spend over $325 million to remove the devices, including $175 million to California “to reduce excess nitrogen oxide.”

While this is a massive penalty for Ram, it’s nothing compared to the $14.7 billion USD fine that Volkswagen received in the U.S. after the infamous “Dieselgate” scandal in 2017. Volkswagen had also installed defeat devices in 11 million vehicles worldwide with software that reduced emissions only during emissions tests.

This is also the second time that Ram has been caught up in an emissions scandal in the last two years. Ram’s parent company, Dutch conglomerate Stellantis, plead guilty on charges of emission cheating for their Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500s built from 2014 to 2016. This ended up costing Stellantis a $300 million USD fine despite both Jeep and Ram being under ownership of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

It’s unclear whether this will start a recall for the vehicles in Australia.

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