(Reuters) – A Detroit judge on Tuesday dismissed part of a criminal case against a senior Fiat Chrysler executive, who was charged as part of the government's investigation into cheating on diesel emissions tests by the carmaker.
Emanuele Palma was accused in September 2019 of making and causing Fiat Chrysler to make mistakes to US regulators about diesel engine emission control systems and wire frauds.
Of the 13 charges, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds charged four bills and part of a bill – all related to wire fraud, which determined the causal link between the alleged fraud and customers' loss of money was "tough at best."
Mr. Palma, an Italian citizen and automotive engineer, will be tried in April 2021
The U.S. law firm in Detroit, Fiat Chrysler and lawyers for Mr. Palma did not comment immediately late on Tuesday.
USA. Officials launched a comprehensive investigation into the cheating of diesel emissions in the automotive industry after Volkswagen AG admitted in September 2015 that they used secret software to avoid emission regulations.
Nine people have been charged in the Volkswagen probe, while only Mr. Palma has been charged in the Fiat Chrysler case. Two people charged in the Volkswagen case were jailed after pleading guilty, while the other seven, including former CEO Martin Winterkorn, remain abroad and have never served in US courts.
In January 2019, Fiat Chrysler agreed to a $ 800 million settlement to resolve civil claims by the Justice Department, California Air Resources Board and vehicle owners that they were using illegal software that gave false results on diesel emission tests.
Last month, the Italian-American carmaker recognized a new sales of 222 million euros (263 million dollars). to resolve cases that are primarily related to the DOJ's ongoing criminal investigation into diesel emissions.
Fiat Chrysler said at the time that conciliation talks were underway, and it was not clear if an agreement would be reached.
It agreed separately in September to pay $ 9.5 million to resolve Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that it misled investors into complying with emissions regulations