Admitting to federal safety law violations, Fiat Chrysler has agreed to pay $105 million, submit to federal oversight, and hire an independent monitor. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fiat Chrysler had mishandled 23 recalls affecting approximately 11 million vehicles.
The $105 million fine comprises two components: a $70 million cash fine and a $20 million allotment to ensure that drivers of the recalled vehicles receive the necessary repairs. Chrysler faces a potential $15 million additional fine based on feedback from the independent monitor.
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE AND JEEP LIBERTY RECALLS
Out of the 23 different recalls, the one that takes most of spotlight is the gas tank recall affecting 1993-2007 model Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty vehicles. According to the details of the recall, the gas tanks can leak after severe impact, posing a fire/explosion hazard. As of 2013, said the NHTSA, this particular gas tank issue had been linked to 50 deaths.
Owners of some of the recalled vehicles will receive cash incentives to get their vehicles fixed as part of the $20 million fine.
- Do you drive a 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee? If you haven't gotten it repaired yet, you can trade in your car for $1,000 higher than its market value or you can opt in for a $100 gift card for repairs.
- Do you drive a 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty or 1999-2004 Grand Cherokee? Chrysler is offering a $100 gift card for repairs.
Federal regulators have come under scrutiny lately for not being tough enough on recalls, so this fine is likely an indicator to other auto manufacturers that federal regulators are stepping up their game.