Tags: fiat chrysler | 105 million | national highway traffic administration

Fiat Chrysler Hit With a Record $105M in Fines From NHTSA

Image: Fiat Chrysler Hit With a Record $105M in Fines From NHTSA
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By    |   Monday, 27 Jul 2015 02:02 PM

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles must pay fines and penalties of $105 million for what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called the company's lax attitude in addressing its vehicles' safety issues.

The penalties, the largest in history, illustrate a "get tough" policy by the NHTSA since the airbag recalls by supplier Takata and General Motors last year, the Detroit Free Press reported.

"Fiat Chrysler's pattern of poor performance put millions of its customers, and the driving public, at risk," NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind said, according to the Free Press. "This action will provide relief to owners of defective vehicles, will help improve recall performance throughout the auto industry, and gives Fiat Chrysler the opportunity to embrace a proactive safety culture."

The Free Press wrote that Fiat Chrysler must also submit to oversight and buy back nearly half-a-million of the vehicles it has recalled.

The Detroit News wrote that even with the record $105 million hit for Fiat Chrysler, it could have been worse. The auto giant could have faced $700 million or more in fines — $35 million for each of 23 recalls under investigation if the NHTSA had found that it failed to meet legal requirements in each of the campaigns.

Scott Kunselman, senior vice president of vehicle safety and regulatory affairs at Fiat Chrysler's U.S. unit, told the Detroit News that the NHTSA had raised "legitimate concerns" and the company has "fallen short" in addressing some safety issues.

"The plan is to move forward," Kunselman told the Detroit News in June, adding, though, that Fiat Chrysler's failures were not intentional. "Some of the things we've done were sloppy. We absolutely had no mis-intent."

Jennifer Timian, head of NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation, said at a public hearing earlier this month that she had "serious concerns" with how Fiat Chrysler notified owners and NHTSA about its recalls, noted the Detroit News.

"In every one of the 23 recalls, we have identified ways in which Fiat Chrysler failed to do its job," Timian stated.

Timian claimed that Fiat Chrysler either had problems with the information in its reports, or in other cases failed to report to NHTSA its safety issues and missed deadlines to notify owners of recalls.

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles must pay fines and penalties of $105 million for what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called the company's lax attitude in addressing its vehicles' safety issues.
fiat chrysler, 105 million, national highway traffic administration
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2015-02-27
Monday, 27 Jul 2015 02:02 PM
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