Fiat Chrysler could be set for big fines for using diesel emissions cheat devices in the US, according to reports.

The US Justice Department is seeking 'substantial' civil fines from the car maker, alleging that it used defeat devices on over 100,000 cars sold since 2014 to get around diesel emissions regulations.

The Justice Department has moved to prevent further movement in the case by offering Fiat Chrysler an opportunity to settle out of court, which would require the company to offset excess pollution and take steps to prevent future emissions problems, according to Bloomberg. However, a source was quoted by Reuters as saying that any out of court settlement 'must include very substantial civil penalties.'

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Talks between the Justice Department and FCA have already taken place, although no details of the talks have officially been revealed and further talks are scheduled for a later point.

Last summer Fiat Chrysler had to seek approval to sell current diesel models after the controversy first surfaced. At the time, the company said that it was confident that updated software on the newer cars would not cause any further issues. The software in the newer models was also said to serve the basis of a fix for faltering cars sold since 2014.

Testing on the fix began in December and it was said to have been completed after three months. Then, the US government would have 30 days to make a decision before the end of April. No out of court settlement is expected before the testing on the fix is completed, however.

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