U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen of the Northern District of California has appointed Motley Rice co-founder Joe Rice to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) for multidistrict litigation filed for consumers impacted by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ alleged use of defeat software to bypass emissions standards in certain 3.0-liter diesel vehicles.
The Environmental Protection Agency first raised allegations against Fiat Chrysler on Jan. 12, 2017, accusing the auto-manufacturer of violating the Clean Air Act by installing defeat software in its “EcoDiesel” Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 vehicles from model years 2014 to 2016. Roughly 104,000 vehicles are believed to be affected.
Litigation filed against Fiat Chrysler, In re Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep EcoDiesel Marketing, Sales Practice and Products Liability Litigation, follows similar allegations made against Volkswagen in 2015 that led to the $14.7 billion “Clean Diesel” settlement reached for owners and lessees of affected 2.0-liter TDI vehicles, and at least $1.2 billion reached for 3.0-Audi, Porsche and VW vehicles. Joe Rice also played a leading role in negotiating both settlement deals for consumers as a member of the PSC.
“We gained valuable experience and insight over the last two years in our pursuit of a swift resolution for U.S. consumers harmed by Volkswagen’s misconduct,” said Joe. “We look forward to applying that knowledge in this similar emissions fraud litigation, and working with all involved for a just resolution for Fiat Chrysler consumers.”
Judge Chen has directed plaintiffs to file a consolidated complaint within 30 days of the appointment and plans on holding a status conference on August 8.
Nine Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee members were selected based on various factors including, experience, resources, geographic spread, support of other attorneys and diversity. Attorneys at Motley Rice LLC have a wide variety of economic and consumer fraud litigation experience including Volkswagen “CleanDiesel” Emission Fraud, BP Deepwater Horizon litigation and the BP Oil Spill Economic and Property Damages Class Action Settlement. The firm is also actively involved in vehicle defect litigation including Takata Exploding Airbag litigation and GM Ignition Switch Litigation.