Feds Hit FCA With Record Fine-Force Truck Buy Back
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has levied a record $105 million in fine and penalties on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and will force them to buy back nearly a half million trucks. The government says FCA was not aggressive enough in persuading customers to have their recalled vehicles repaired, noting that in some cases replacement parts were not available until a year after the initial recall notice.
Most of the vehicles involved in the buyback program are 2008-2012 Ram pickup trucks, along with larger Dodge and Chrysler SUVs. In addition, owners of over a million Jeep SUVs, some dating back to 1993, that are prone to gas tank fires, will also be provided incentives. Jeep owners will received either a generous trade-in allowance on a new vehicle, or financial help to have a trailer hitch installed that helps reduce the chance of fire in a rear end collision.
Further, FCA has also agreed to have an independent monitor approved by NHTSA oversee their recall efforts for the next three years. If the monitor finds the company’s recall performance continues to be subpar, further fines are possible.
This is yet more proof of the stepped up efforts by Washington to make sure automakers do everything in their power to have recalled vehicles fixed in a timely fashion.