Fiat Chrysler is expected to pay a $70 million fine to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for not reporting vehicle collision injuries and fatalities tied to possible vehicle defects.
In addition to the fine, the automaker must produce defect-related information that has been missing since 2003. In September, Fiat Chrysler admitted to failing to produce warranty claims, consumer complaints, and injury and death reports related to possible vehicle defects.
For the past twelve years, Fiat Chrysler has failed to comply with a law that mandates the disclosure of deaths and injuries associated with vehicle defects. The law, which was put into effect in 2000, was designed to assist safety officials with determining defects quickly. This reporting requirement was motivated by the deaths of 270 people resulting from rollover collisions due to Ford Explorers defective tires.
However, the automaker has stated that its underreporting stemmed from issues in the electronic system the company used to monitor and report safety information. The company denies any allegations that it purposefully withheld data.
In an attempt to ensure compliance, Fiat Chrysler is conducting a third-party audit to uncover the missing information. The company has six months to complete the audit and procure all unreported incidents.
This is the second time this year that the NHTSA has imposed a fine on Fiat Chrysler. In July, the NHTSA fined the automaker for improperly handling the recall of 11 million vehicles. It is estimated that the July fine will cost the company $105 million.
In the wake of the recent Fiat Chrysler fines, the NHTSA plans on implementing stricter defect-related reporting requirements.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, contact the defective product lawyers at Arnold Law Firm immediately to schedule a free legal consultation. We have the knowledge and experience required to get you the justice and compensation you deserve.