The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has hit Fiat Chrysler with a $105 million civil penalty for failing to complete 23 safety recalls covering more than 11 million vehicles.
According to a Law 360 news report, this is the largest fine ever levied against an automaker by a regulator.
In a consent order that was made public, Chrysler admitted to violating federal regulations mandating timely recalls and notifications to vehicle owners, dealers and regulators.
The automaker also agreed to oversight by a federal monitor for the next three years.
What The Penalty Does
The $105 million Chrysler will pay covers a cash penalty, expenses to meet the requirements of the consent order and costs of any future violations discovered by the independent monitor.
Other automakers have faced similar fines this year. In January Honda paid a $70 million penalty to resolved allegations that it failed to report more than 1,700 deaths and injuries over a decade.
Officials say the action against Fiat Chrysler holds the automaker accountable for past failures and pushes them to repair defective autos.
Chrysler has acknowledged that its recall procedures have not been adequate.
Why Are Timely Recalls Important?
Federal law requires that any safety defect relating to a faulty vehicle or auto part must be promptly reported to federal regulators.
In addition, automakers must also recall these dangerous and defective vehicles. It’s not enough if automakers recall the vehicles.
They are required to repair them in a timely manner at no cost to consumers. Failing to do so can put consumers at risk of suffering serious injuries.
If You Have Been Injured
If your vehicle has been recalled for a safety issue, please do not take any chances. Make sure you take the vehicle to an authorized dealer so the necessary repairs can be made.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective vehicle, please preserve the vehicle in its current condition unaltered so an expert can thoroughly analyze it for defects, malfunctions and design flaws.
Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced auto product liability attorney who has the knowledge, resources and tenacity to conduct independent investigations and hold the negligent automaker accountable.
The best auto defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.