Fiat Chrysler Agrees to $105 Million Settlement with DOT

The agreement followed a July 2 public hearing where NHTSA officials outlined problems with Fiat Chrysler's execution of 23 vehicle safety recalls covering more than 11 million defective vehicles.

In a July 26, Sunday, announcement, the U.S. Department of Transportation and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said the automaker has agreed to pay a $105 million civil penalty, the largest penalty in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's history. It is a huge settlement, including agreeing to federal oversight and buying back vehicles.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the agreement. It followed a July 2 public hearing where NHTSA officials outlined problems with Fiat Chrysler's execution of 23 vehicle safety recalls covering more than 11 million defective vehicles.

"Today's action holds Fiat Chrysler accountable for its past failures, pushes them to get unsafe vehicles repaired or off the roads, and takes concrete steps to keep Americans safer going forward," Foxx said. "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 consent order requires Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to notify vehicle owners eligible for buybacks and other financial incentives, and also agree to unprecedented oversight for the next three years, including hiring an independent monitor approved by NHTSA to track and report the company's recall performance. "Fiat Chrysler's pattern of poor performance put millions of its customers and the driving public at risk," NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said. "This action will provide relief to owners of defective vehicles, will help improve recall performance throughout the auto industry, and gives Fiat Chrysler the opportunity to embrace a proactive safety culture."

The company will pay a $70 million cash penalty, equal to the record $70 million civil penalty NHTSA imposed on Honda in January 2015, and Fiat Chrysler will spend at least $20 million on meeting performance requirements included in the consent order.

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