Fiat Chrysler, Bosch agree to pay $66 million in diesel legal fees:…

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Robert Bosch have agreed to pay lawyers representing owners of U.S. diesel vehicles $66 million in fees and costs, according to court filing on Wednesday and people briefed on the matter.

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the ticker information for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV at the post where it’s traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., January 12, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

In a court filing late on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, lawyer Elizabeth Cabraser said after negotiations overseen by court-appointed settlement master Ken Feinberg, the companies agreed not to oppose an award of $59 million in attorneys’ fees and $7 million in costs.

The lawyers had originally sought up to $106.5 million in fees and costs.

Under a settlement announced last month, Fiat Chrysler and Bosch, which provided emissions control software for the Fiat Chrysler vehicles, will give 104,000 diesel owners up to $307.5 million or about $2,800 per vehicle for diesel software updates.

The legal fees are on top of those costs. Fiat Chrysler and Bosch did not immediately comment late Wednesday.

Fiat Chrysler is paying up to $280 million, or 90 percent of the settlement costs, and Bosch is paying $27.5 million, or 10 percent. The companies are expected to divide the attorney costs under the same formula, meaning Fiat Chrysler will pay $60 million and Bosch $6 million, the people briefed on the settlement said.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen must still approve the legal fees. He has set a May 3 hearing on a motion to grant final approval.

The Italian-American automaker on Jan. 10 announced it settled with the U.S. Justice Department, California and diesel owners over civil claims that it used illegal software that produced false results on diesel-emissions tests.

Fiat Chrysler previously estimated the value of the settlements at about $800 million.

Fiat Chrysler is also paying $311 million in total civil penalties and issuing extended warranties worth $105 million, among other costs.

The settlement covers 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesels from the model years 2014 to 2016.

In addition, Fiat Chrysler will pay $72.5 million for state civil penalties and $33.5 million to California to offset excess emissions and consumer claims.

The hefty penalty was the latest fallout from the U.S. government’s stepped-up enforcement of vehicle emissions rules after Volkswagen AG admitted in September 2015 to intentionally evading emissions rules.

The Justice Department has a pending criminal investigation against Fiat Chrysler.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall



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