By David Shepardson
(Reuters) -German auto supplier Bosch has agreed pay $25 million to resolve California’s probe into the company’s role in the diesel emissions scandals at Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler, the company and state said Monday.
The settlement, which is subject to court approval, resolves allegations Bosch participated in misconduct by providing hardware, software, and software programming or calibration services to Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler – now known as Stellantis – “when it knew or should have known that these auto manufacturers were violating environmental and consumer protection laws,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said.
Bosch confirmed the settlement but said it “neither acknowledges the validity of the claims brought forward, nor does it concede any liability.”
Under the settlement, Bosch must disclose to California if it concludes a manufacturer will use or has used software to evade emissions rules.
“Bosch violated consumer trust when it gave Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler the technology they needed to skirt state and federal emissions tests,” Bonta said. “Bosch’s actions facilitated one of the biggest environmental crimes of our time, and today, they are paying the price.”
Bosch previously agreed to pay more than $400 million to U.S. diesel VW and Fiat Chrysler owners and resolve claims from state attorneys general over diesel emissions.
Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to using illegal software to cheat U.S. pollution tests, pleaded guilty as part of a $4.3 billion settlement reached with the Justice Department that overall cost the German automaker more than $30 billion in fines, penalties and vehicle buyback costs.
Diesel car owners sued Bosch in 2015 claiming the company helped design secret “defeat device” software that allowed VW to evade emissions rules and alleged Bosch was a “knowing and active participant” in Volkswagen’s decade-long scheme.
Stellantis’ FCA US unit in June pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy and agreed to pay $300 million to resolve a Justice Department diesel emissions fraud investigation.
Fiat Chrysler previously paid a $311 million civil penalty and $183 million in compensation to more than 63,000 people as part of a class-action diesel lawsuit.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lincoln Feast)