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2019 March
of the Month

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Car and Driver: NHTSA Fines Fiat-Chrysler $70 Million for Second Time This Year

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Fiat-Chrysler has been fined $70 million for failing to provide the U.S. government with sufficient safety data over the past 12 years. It is FCA’s second $70 million fine and one of four levied against automakers and suppliers this year, an unglamorous record for an industry that is otherwise having a very good year.



In May, the Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating 23 FCA recalls over allegations that they’d been issued too late. By July, NHTSA fined FCA $70 million (plus an additional $35 million in deferred fees and required safety-related investments). The new fine covers FCA’s admission that it underreported warranty claims, owner complaints, deaths, and injuries dating back to 2003. Known as Early Warning Reports (EWR), all large-volume automakers have been required since 2003 to file such quarterly reports so that NHTSA (and the automakers) can analyze potential problems.


FCA said its software did not account for new brands after the Fiat takeover and used “improper coding” to log issues, among other problems. Honda was fined $70 million in January for missing EWR data (and, similarly, Ferrari $3.5 million in 2014). Takata, the supplier behind the exploding airbag inflator recalls, was fined $70 million last month for providing incomplete data and failing to report the defect within five days.


Within 30 days, FCA must pay the $70 million in full, unlike Takata, which curiously was given a five-year payment plan (NHTSA offers no explanation). Within eight months, FCA must turn in all the missing data. The automaker did not issue any comment.


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