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FCA settles a massive class action lawsuit over diesel cheating, report says

Fiat Chrysler will pay the bulk of a $307.5 million settlement to owners and lease-holders of 2014-2016 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel models.

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Those who bought or leased 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models with diesel engines can expect a little check in the mail.

It's easy to forget that it wasn't just Volkswagen that got caught up in the whole Dieselgate scandal. Plenty of other carmakers got outed for cheating on diesel emissions testing as well, like Fiat Chrysler.

Once FCA was exposed for installing emissions defeat devices in its diesel vehicles, owners were pretty pissed. Over 100,000 of them went and filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, and now, according to a story published on Friday by Reuters, those owners are about to get paid.

FCA offered to settle with the owners involved in the lawsuit for the princely sum of $307.5 million, and a federal judge in San Francisco accepted that settlement. That means that owners and lessees of 2014-2016 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel models can expect a check in the mail for around $3,075.

If that doesn't sound like a lot, that's because it's not. It's less than the upcharge on most vehicles to opt for a diesel engine. Still, owners have been enjoying sweet torque and decent fuel economy in the meantime, so it's not all bad. 

Current owners and lessees can submit a claim to be a part of the class action suit until February of 2021, while former owners and lease-holders only get until August of 2019 to get theirs in.

The civil suit settlement is only a portion of the giant chunk of change that FCA has had to lay out as a result of its diesel trickery. It was obligated to extend vehicle warranties to owners of affected diesel vehicles as well as pay fines to the US and State of California. In all, it works out to an additional $311 million.

Still, this experience hasn't put the company off of its diesel models, because the Ram 1500 is getting a new EcoDiesel unit in the near future.

FCA didn't immediately respond to Roadshow's request for comment.