More precisely, no less than £60 million.
Back in 2012, the Obama administration passed rules requiring automotive manufacturers to boost the fleet-wide fuel efficiency of their vehicles to more than 50 miles per US gallon on average by 2025, or approximately 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres. While President Donald Trump administration has proposed rolling back those requirements, civil penalties have been imposed to automakers in the last few years. More precisely, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), $77 million (approx. £60 million at the current exchange rate) in fines for the entire industry in 2016, $2.3 million (£1.8 million) in 2014, and $40 million (£31 million) in 2011.
A new report from Reuters shines more light on the penalties for 2016. It turns out Fiat Chrysler Automobiles paid a significant part of the total fine for failing to meet 2016 model year fuel economy standards. In fact, if we are to believe the information, the Italian-American company paid no less than $77 million (£60 million) late last year.
FCA is among the manufacturers that have been actively lobbying against the fuel economy rules and even proposed freezing the requirements at 2020 model year levels until 2026. While claiming FCA is “committed to improving the fuel efficiency of our fleet and expanding our U.S. manufacturing footprint,” the automaker’s head of external affairs for North America, Shane Karr, said the rules need to be reformed rather than “requiring companies to make large compliance payments because assumptions made in 2011 turned out to be wrong.”
Back in September last year, Fiat Chrysler vice president responsible for overseeing fuel economy issues, Steve Bartoli, said the gap between the projected fuel efficiency levels and reality is “a wake-up call that assumptions made seven years ago about the U.S. auto market need to be revised.” The company has previously purchased emissions credits from Toyota, Honda, and Tesla in order to meet the efficiency regulations.