United States v. Emanuele Palma, et al.
On November 14, 2023, a court sentenced Emanuele Palma to one day time served. Because he is removable from the United States and has agreed to self-remove to Italy (where he lives and works), Palma was not given a term of supervised release. He was not ordered to pay a fine due to his financial condition.
Palma pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act (CAA). Palma and others conspired to withhold information from the United States Environmental Protection Agency regarding the design, calibration, and function of the emissions control systems on more than 100,000 Model Year 2014, 2015, and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles, and about these vehicles’ emission of pollutants, fuel efficiency, and compliance with U.S. emissions standards.
Beginning at least as early as 2010, FCA US developed a new 3.0-liter diesel engine for use in FCA US’ s Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 vehicles (the Subject Vehicles) that would be sold in the United States. Palma, Sergio Pasini, and Gianluca Sabbioni, purposely calibrated the emissions control functions of several “clean diesel vehicles” to produce lower NOx emissions under conditions when the subject vehicles would be undergoing testing on the federal test procedures or driving “ cycles,” and higher NOx emissions under conditions when the subject vehicles would be driven in the real world. Palma and his co-conspirators employed “cycle beating” to achieve best-in-class fuel efficiency and make the subject vehicles more attractive to FCA’ s potential customers, i.e., by increasing fuel economy and reducing the frequency of a required emissions control system service interval.
Pasini and Sabbioni await extradition on conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the CAA and six CAA counts.
In August 2022, a court sentenced FCA US, LLC, to pay a $96,145,784 fine; a forfeiture money judgment of $203,572,892; and complete a three-year term of probation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation.