Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will engage lawyers representing vehicle owners suing the automotive group for excess diesel emissions for talks in Washington next month, said a court-appointed settlement adviser in a Reuters report.

The United States Justice Department sued Fiat Chrysler in May, alleging that the company illegally used software which led to excess emissions in nearly 104,000 US-sold vehicles since 2014, while the automaker also faces lawsuits from owners of said vehicles.

Auto parts supplier Bosch has also been sued by owners and will be engaging in settlement talks next month, settlement master Ken Feinberg said in court. The US government will not participate in the talks, Feinberg said. Fiat Chrysler won approval from US federal and California regulators to sell 2017 model diesel vehicles, following scrutiny for alleged excess emissions in older diesel models.

The US federal government and California were nearing agreement on a testing plan with FCA to see if the fix will work, said Justice Department lawyer Leigh Rende, adding that both the government and the company must obtain representative vehicles for testing.

Across the Atlantic last year, Fiat Chrysler was also accused by the German Transport ministry of cheating in its emissions tests, and asked the European Commission (EC) to investigate the company for potentially illegal emissions control devices in their vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler’s legal tangle comes after the extensive and far-reaching Dieselgate saga which blighted the Volkswagen Group, which saw a Volkswagen engineer slapped with a 40-month sentence and a US$200,000 (RM846,500) fine for his role in devising the offending software.