Fiat Chrysler Automobiles wrote a big check to the Feds for not quite meeting 2016 fuel-economy standards, and they shrug:
Shane Karr, head of external affairs for Fiat Chrysler in North America, confirmed the company’s $77-million penance with Reuters. Karr is one of the few automotive spokespeople willing to openly endorse a rollback. He told the outlet that the government’s fuel economy program should be reformed, thus ending the practice of automakers making “large compliance payments because assumptions made in 2011 turned out to be wrong.”
However, Karr also noted FCA remains “committed to improving the fuel efficiency of our fleet and expanding our U.S. manufacturing footprint.”
It’s not difficult to understand why Fiat Chrysler incurred the fines. While Fiat offers fuel-sipping options, the same cannot be said of the firm’s more American nameplates. Most of Dodge’s lineup doesn’t even come with an available four-cylinder, since the brand cut loose many of its smaller and less profitable models several years ago. In fact, Dodge frequently frames its surplus of powerful V8 engines as an important selling point.
One of Dodge’s Hellcats breathed into my ear on the way up Interstate 35 yesterday. It was incredibly loud, and it’s difficult to imagine how the driver could be talked into a hybrid: give it a big enough battery, and it will be just as quick, but there is apparently no joy in dead silence.