Fiat Chrysler in Settlement Talks Over Diesel Emissions

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will take part in settlement talks with lawyers representing vehicle owners suing the automaker over excess diesel emissions in Washington on Oct. 12, a court-appointed settlement adviser said Wednesday.

In May, the U.S. Justice Department sued Fiat Chrysler, accusing the company of illegally using software that led to excess emissions in nearly 104,000 U.S. diesel vehicles sold since 2014. It also faces numerous lawsuits from owners of those vehicles.

German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, which develops diesel vehicle systems, has also been sued by U.S. vehicle owners and will be part of the settlement talks next month, settlement master Ken Feinberg said in court.

In July, Fiat Chrysler won approval from federal and California regulators to sell 2017 diesel vehicles after it came under scrutiny for alleged excess emissions in older diesel models.

Fiat Chrysler lawyer Robert Giuffra said in court the company remains confident it can use updated emissions software in the 2017 vehicles as the basis of a fix to address agencies’ concerns over 2014-16 diesel vehicles.

Regulators have said Fiat Chrysler diesel vehicles had undisclosed emissions controls that allowed vehicles to emit excess pollution during normal driving. The company has denied wrongdoing, saying there was never an attempt to create software to cheat emissions rules. Fiat Chrysler’s emissions case came after Volkswagen’s diesel emissions violations prompted increased industry scrutiny.

New Diesel Cars for 2014

The Victor crew
found that has a list of new 2014 Diesel cars for better fuel efficiency. Here they are:

Audi – 3.0 liter V-6 turbodiesels:
Audi A6 TDI mid-size sedan – for 29 mpg starts at $57,500
Audi A7 4-door coupe – 29 mpg starts at $66,900
Audi A8 large luxury sedan – 28 mpg starts at $82,500

BMW – 180 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel
3-series sport sedan – 32 mpg city; 45 mpg highway; slightly lower with xDrive all-wheel drive option; starts at $39,525 without xDrive; another $2000 with
3-series Sports Wagon – up to 43 mpg; only comes with xDrive; starts at $43,875

Chevrolet – 151 hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel four cylinder:
Cruze Diesel – starts at $25,695; 27 pmg city; 46 mpg highway

Jeep – 240 hp 3.0 liter V-6 turbodiesel
Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel – 21 mpg city; 28 mpg highway;

Ram (formerly Dodge Truck) – 240 hp 3.0 liter V-6 turbodiesel
1500 EcoDiesel pickup truck – priced $2,850 higher than Ram 1500 gasoline

Ride on.
~Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: 12 Best in Class Car Values For 2012

Based on performance, value and safety — plus driving impressions from road tests, these Best in Class winners rom Kiplingers will “Wow” you. I asked Jody Victor to explain.

Jody Victor: Well, Joe, here they are, 12 vehicles that should keep you happy no matter what, by Jessica Anderson of Kiplinger, from , in 3 parts.


Sticker price: $19,995 (Eco, manual)
Invoice price: $19,225
TrueCar national average price: $19,889
3-year resale value: 57%, 5-year: 40%
City mpg: 28, Hwy: 42

Introduced last year to replace the Cobalt, the Cruze quickly shot to best-seller status. It’s wallet-friendly on many fronts, blending a low price with impressive fuel efficiency and high resale values. Its stylish and nearly silent interior, plus solid handling, push it to the front of the compact pack.


Invoice price: $23,451
TrueCar national average price: $23,619
3-year resale value: 62%, 5-year: 46%
City mpg: 30, Hwy: 42

The Jetta offers German engineering at a budget price but without a budget feel. It’s as spacious inside as compacts come, and as nimble, whether you’re parallel parking or navigating city traffic. The diesel version gets top honors for its powerful, fuel-efficient engine and stellar resale values.

CARS $25,000-$30,000: KIA OPTIMA

Sticker price: $25,850 (2.0T EX)
Invoice price: $24,205
TrueCar national average price: $25,205
3-year resale value: 52%, 5-year: 36%
City mpg: 22, Hwy: 34

The Optima’s redesign last year shook off the bland styling, adding sharp creases and an aggressive front end complete with fog lights and wraparound headlamps; it also won Kiplinger’s Best New Car award for its category. The turbo-boosted four-cylinder engine puts out more horsepower (274) than most in its class, a difference you’ll feel on the road. Add value pricing and a five-year warranty and you’ve got serious swagger.

CARS $30,000-$40,000: FORD TAURUS

Sticker price: $38,950 (SHO)
Invoice price: $35,820
TrueCar national average price: $35,005
3-year resale value: 54%, 5-year: 39%
City mpg: 17, Hwy: 25

A Kiplinger’s top pick since its 2009 reintroduction, the Taurus earns its plaudits with a mix of fuel efficiency and power. The V6 EcoBoost engine gives it the power of a V8 without guzzling gas. The Super High Output (SHO) badge means it gets a sport-tuned suspension, bigger brakes and paddle shifters.

Thanks, Jody! More next time!

Joe Victor


Joe asks Jody Victor®: More Great Commuter Cars

Well, if that last bunch didn’t trip your trigger, try this next lineup. Here’s our own Jody Victor  with more info from the article by Evan Griffey of

Jody Victor: Hey Joe, I know that last group was great but, here goes with the rest of the great commuter vehicles.

Kia Sportage – Price: $18,500 – The Sportage fills the commuting needs of SUV fans. You get that high-and-mighty seating position, plenty of room and a slew of standard amenities in a stylish package. It costs $3,800 to add all-wheel drive to the equation, but we’d recommend it if you regularly face bad weather. The Kia is a great call when you need a double-duty vehicle that can both commute and support an active lifestyle outside the office. Fuel efficiency: 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway.

Scion iQ – Price: $15,995 – There are all kinds of engineering tricks that explain how the iQ looks small on the outside, yet is relatively big inside. But that’s not why it appeals to us in this context; the asymmetrical dash and staggered seating are the standouts here. This arrangement, in which the front passenger sits farther forward in the cabin than the driver, gives three commuters regular, no-compromise room. The iQ’s impressive 37 mpg combined city and highway mileage is the best among the strictly gas-burners on this list.

Subaru Legacy – Price: $19,995 – The Legacy is the all-wheel-drive alternative on the list. As part of its 2009 redesign, Subaru’s midsized sedan got a more expansive, ergonomic interior that makes better use of the space. It is offered in seven model trims with three engine choices and numerous interior and connectivity features, so there is a flavor for every palate. The base 2.5i trim features a 170-horsepower engine and continuously variable transmission and generates the best mileage figures: 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway.

Toyota Prius V – Price: $26,400 – There is a lot to like in the versatile all-new-for-2012 Prius V. The traditional gas-electric hybrid has more of a minivan profile than other Prius offerings. Its bigger packaging means more room for the commute and more cargo potential for weekend getaways, all while enjoying hybrid-spec fuel efficiency at 44 mpg city/42 mpg highway. The Prius V comes in three trims; only the top trim offers access to the commuter-friendly, high-end technology option packages.

VW Jetta Diesel – Price: $22,525 – Diesels have been known for their high-mileage figures for decades; this one gets 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway. But many still perceive them as being loud, smoky and crude. Get a clue: Modern diesels are quiet and clean-burning and offer a refined ride and drive. They make an excellent commuter car. Diesels produce big torque; the Jetta’s 236 lb-ft of torque doubles that of the first four cars on our list, giving it more pep from a stoplight. VW’s 2.0-liter TDI drivetrain can be had in sedan or SportWagen versions of the Jetta, making it more flexible for post-commute activities.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to check ’em out.

Joe Victor