Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will pay a record $105 million fine for violating
federal laws governing defective vehicles. The auto manufacturer has also
agreed to buy back some recalled vehicles and submit to significant federal
As previously discussed on this San Diego Injury Blog, the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently held a public hearing regarding
how Fiat Chrysler handled 23 vehicle safety recalls covering more than
11 million defective vehicles. In response, 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.
“Today’s action holds Fiat Chrysler accountable for its past
failures, pushes them to get unsafe vehicles repaired or off the roads
and takes concrete steps to keep Americans safer going forward,”
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated. “This civil penalty puts manufacturers on notice that the Department
will act when they do not take their obligations to repair safety defects
Under the terms of the consent order, owners of more than 500,000 Dodge
Ram trucks with faulty suspensions that could cause the vehicle to lose
control will be able to sell their vehicle back to Fiat Chrysler. Owners
of more than one million Jeeps that are prone to deadly fires either will
have the chance to trade their vehicle in for more than market value,
or will receive a financial incentive to get their vehicle fixed.
To address Fiat Chrysler’s poor recall performance, the auto manufacturer
must also 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 been seriously injured by a dangerous or
defective vehicle, don’t hesitate to
contacta San Diego product liability attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.