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Fiat Chrysler Faces $70 Million Fine for Failing to Report Safety Data

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to crack down on automakers’ failures to report safety data. The regulator recently announced that it fined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles $70 million for failing to provide mandatory reports detailing deaths and injuries, warranty claims, owner complaints, and other information. Last year, Honda Motor Co. received a $70 million penalty for similar violations in connection with defective Takata airbags.

“Accurate, early-warning reporting is a legal requirement, and it’s also part of a manufacturer’s obligation to protect the safety of the traveling public,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “We need [Fiat Chrysler] and other auto makers to move toward a stronger, more proactive safety culture, and when they fall short, we will continue to exercise our enforcement authority to set them on the right path.”

Fiat Chrysler set a record in 2015 by recalling 11 million defective vehicles and issuing a total of 38 different recalls. The auto manufacturer’s current NHTSA fines now also total $175 million.

As we previously discussed on this San Diego Injury Law Blog, the NHTSA ordered Fiat Chrysler to pay a record $105 million fine for violating federal laws governing defective vehicles. The penalty resulted from an investigation into how Fiat Chrysler handled 23 vehicle safety recalls covering more than 11 million defective vehicles. The car company has since admitted to violating the Motor Vehicle Safety Act by failing to adequately remedy defective vehicles within a reasonable time, failing to timely notify vehicle owners of the existence of a defect, and failing to provide the NHTSA with timely, accurate, and complete information relating to vehicle defects and recalls.

Under the terms of the consent order, Fiat Chrysler must submit to “unprecedented” oversight for the next three years, which includes hiring an independent monitor approved by NHTSA to assess, track and report the company’s recall performance. If the independent monitor determines that Fiat Chrysler is not meeting its requirements, the company faces additional fines and sanctions.

If you or someone you love has suffered serious harm due to recalled vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.