Fiat Chrysler Hit With Record Fines Over Safety Recall Handling

b2ap3_thumbnail_money.jpgIn the wake of more than 20 separate safety recalls involving more than 11 million vehicles, including a million and a half Jeeps linked with deadly fires, federal regulators have fined international automaker Fiat Chrysler a record $105 million. The fine was levied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) against the Italian-American multinational vehicle manufacturer as the result of delayed and inefficient handling of nearly two dozen recalls.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is the world’s seventh largest automaker and is the parent company for a number of globally-recognized brands. In addition to several familiar on American roads, including Dodge, Jeep, and Ram, FCA also maintains brands such as Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Maserati. By the company’s own estimates, FCA is engaged in industrial activities in 40 countries, serving customers in about 150 nations.

Defective Vehicles

The recent crackdown by the NHTSA comes as a part of a deal with the automaker to help create safer roadways. For its part, FCA has agreed to “take action to get defective vehicles off the roads or repaired,” the NHTSA reports, which will include FCA potentially buying back more than half a million vehicles with dangerous suspension parts. Other consumers, including owners of Jeep vehicles which have been linked to the deaths of more than 50 people as a result of fire-prone fuel tanks, will have the option of trading in their Jeep above market value or receiving a financial incentive for completing safety repairs.

Financial Consequences

According to reports, the $105 million fine is the largest civil penalty ever imposed by the NHTSA and will be followed by three years of “unprecedented” federal supervision of FCA. Of the $105 million, $70 million is to be paid as a cash penalty, compliance measures are expected to cost $20 million, and an additional $15 million in supplemental fines will be due if violations continue. FCA has acknowledged the legitimacy of the federal agency’s concerns and has offered an outline of improvement measures already underway.

Safety Recalls and Personal Injury

Automakers and other consumer goods manufacturers are expected to issue and act upon safety recalls if and when they are made aware of the dangers of the product in question. Often, such concerns are only brought to light following serious injury or death.

If you or loved one has been hurt by a product that was subsequently recalled, contact a DuPage County personal injury attorney today. Our experienced team will work with you in seeking the compensation you need to get back on your feet. Call 630-920-8855 to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly-trained legal professionals.

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