In a settlement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) reached this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) has imposed record breaking fines and buyback requirements against the automaker for its slow efforts to fix thousands of vehicles that were recalled in 2013.
When a manufacturer chooses not to improve the safety of its product or does not diligently produce a safe product, consumers are often left to suffer the consequences.
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The terms agreed to by both FCA and the NHTSA call for $105 million in civil penalties, offers to buy back thousands of defective vehicles and three years of strict oversight of the automaker.
The agreement comes as a result of FCAs poor handling of 23 separate recalls that included more than 11 million vehicles. According to the NHTSA, the automaker failed to adequately notify the NHTSA and dealers about vehicle safety issues and failed to produce an appropriate solution for the defective parts.
Thousands of vehicles recalled in 2013 still have not had their defective parts replaced. Those vehicles mostly Ram trucks and Dodge SUVs made between 2008 and 2012 are eligible to be repurchased by the automaker.
FCA will offer to buy back the unfixed vehicles for an amount equal to the original price of the vehicle at purchase, minus depreciation, and plus an additional ten percent.
The harsh penalties are an effort by NHTSA to transform the automakers handling of safety issues; a precedent some hope will carry over to other negligent automakers as well.
The class action lawyers Goldberg Wiesman Cairo have years of experience representing those who have been injured as a result of the negligence of manufacturers. If your or a loved one is injured by a defective product, contact one of our offices in Chicago, Peoria, Burr Ridge, Libertyville or Rockford for a free consultation.