Fiat Chrysler Enforcement Action
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a press release regarding the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Fiat Chrysler Enforcement Action. Fiat Chrysler has acknowledged violations of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and admitted failures in handling the required repairs on vehicles with safety defects. They have agreed to federal oversight, buy backs and a civil penalty. They’re facing a $105 million civil penalty, which is the largest penalty ever imposed by the NHTSA.
Fiat Chrysler Violates Motor Vehicle Safety Act
Earlier this month, NHTSA officials outlined various problems with Fiat Chrysler’s execution of 23 vehicle safety recalls, covering over 11 million defective vehicles. The automaker has admitted to violating the Safety Act in three critical areas.
Fiat Chrysler’s Three Critical Violations of Safety Act
- Effective and timely recall remedies
- Notification to vehicle owners and dealers
- Notification to the NHTSA
Fiat Chrysler Moving Forward
In addition to an unprecedented level of federal oversight over the next three years, the Fiat Chrysler is facing extensive civil penalties. The automaker will have to pay an initial $70 million in cash, and spend at least $20 million on meeting performance requirements in the Consent Order. Additionally, another $15 million could be taken if the independent monitor discovers any additional Safety Act or Consent Order violations. Once again, this seemingly large penalty and additional federal oversight should hopefully send a message to Fiat Chrysler and other automakers. You can’t put profit over consumer safety, and you certainly can’t violate the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
What do Jeep and Chrysler Owners Need to Know
Under the Consent Order, owners of certain Jeep and Chrysler vehicles will have the chance to sell their defective vehicles back to Fiat Chrysler. In the case of certain models with defective suspension parts, more than half a million automobile owners will be eligible. More than a million Jeep owners will also be able to trade their vehicles in for above market value prices or will receive financial incentives to get their car’s fixed. If you’re not sure if your car is under recall, check Safercar.gov’s VIN search tool.