Fiat Chrysler agrees record penalties over recalls

Fiat Chrysler may have to pay a $105m penalty.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is set to impose the record fine as part of a consent agreement aimed at settling a US government probe into 23 recalls of Chrysler vehicles since 2009.

The automaker has agreed to pay $70m and accepted three years of additional oversight by an independent monitor, as well as agreeing to buy back more than 500,000 vehicles with defective suspension parts that could cause the vehicles to lose control.

An additional $20m will be spent to by the car giant to meet performance requirements and a further $15m could be levied if the monitor discovers additional violations of US auto safety laws, or if Fiat Chrysler violates terms set by the consent order.

The company, as part of the agreement, admitted that it “failed to timely provide an effective remedy” in three recall campaigns, and that it had not complied with “various reporting requirements” of US laws governing recalls in a timely manner.

NHTSA stated: “This civil penalty puts manufacturers on notice that the Department will act when they do not take their obligations to repair safety defects seriously.”

The watchdog will also be investigating a recall of about 1.4 million vehicles for possible cybersecurity flaws following the recent hacking of a moving Jeep Cherokee.