Fiat Chrysler Automobiles admitted Tuesday it hasn’t accurately reported required early warning report data to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The safety administration said that warning data includes “significant under-reported notices and claims of death, injuries and other information.”
According to the automaker, FCA self-reported its violations to NHTSA as part of its increased scrutiny after a record $105 million fine and consent order that FCA agreed to in July. Under the order, FCA agreed to have an independent monitor review its recalls for at least two years. (Read More…)
Speaking at an event in suburban Detroit, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind said Volkswagen’s admission that they lied about emissions in their diesel cars erodes confidence in automakers.
“They tell you one thing, you question it,” Rosekind said to reporters, according to Automotive News. “You just have to question every assumption when information is provided.”
Recent scandals including VW, hackable cars and airbag defects erode consumer confidence and that more must be done by automakers before cars go on sale, he said.
“Accountability in leadership is literally at the top of the list, and we’ve just got to be out front, acting, talking and doing everything we can to demonstrate that it should be in their genes,” Rosekind said, according to Automotive News.
Safety technology tends to have a trickle-down journey. ABS, airbags, and other technologies we now take for granted have slowly bee adopted over the years and are now standard equipment. The next technology to join that group might be automatic braking — or autobrake — depending on from what company you buy your next new car.
Ten automakers, along with the NHTSA and IIHS, have agreed to make automatic braking standard on their cars going forward.
This has not been a banner summer for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In the past 90 days, FCA has recalled nearly 4 million cars and trucks for various issues including hackable cars, volatile fuel tanks, faulty airbags and now, in some of its Ram trucks, airbags with minds of their own.
In a statement Thursday, FCA said it was recalling more than 1 million pickups for a faulty steering wheel wiring harness that could rub against a spring and deploy the driver’s side airbag. The company said it was aware of two injuries related to the airbag deployment. Ram trucks — all models — made between 2012-2014 are affected by the recall. More than 235,000 trucks in Canada will be recalled as well.
In addition, FCA is recalling roughly 350,000 trucks for faulty welds and non-compliant side-curtain airbags.
In 37 pages of Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s consent order with the government, the unprecedented action mentions little about what life will be like for the cars re-sold by the automaker after being repaired.
At issue are thousands of trucks and SUVs — Ram 1500s, 2500s, 3500s, Dodge Durangos and Dakotas, and Chrysler Aspens — that could be eligible for buyback from the automaker. FCA spokesman Eric Mayne told us in July that FCA has the ability to buy, repair and resell those cars under the order.
The recall order doesn’t address whether those cars would need to be identified as “buyback” cars, which the manufacturer isn’t obligated to disclose. But already, the consent order asks FCA to go above and beyond what the law requires for a while.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating complaints that gear selector handles on Jeep Grand Cherokees may slip out of park and cause the car to roll away, Automotive News is reporting.
Owners have detailed several complaints to NHTSA who said their Grand Cherokees rolled away while parked, including one person in Michigan who said a child was injured exiting the rollaway vehicle.
A similar transmission selector was used in the 2014 Chrysler 300. An owner complained of a similar problem in that car, where it rolled away and crashed into two other vehicles.
General Motors announced Tuesday that it’ll settle with at least 124 families who claimed that faulty ignition switches killed family members, Car and Driver is reporting. The settlement comes after a long review to identify victims and people injured by the defective car part that could shut off and disable airbags in the process.
The switches were part of a 2014 recall that involved 2.6 million cars, including the Chevrolet HHR and Cobalt, Saturn Sky and Ion, and Pontiac Solstice and G5. The reported number of dead people was revised as part of a year-long investigation after GM initially acknowledged only 13 fatalities.
The settlement may cost GM up to $625 million, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In all, 124 fatalities and 274 injuries have filed claims against the automaker. In addition to federal lawsuits, the automaker faces investigations by 50 state attorneys general.
Fiat Chrysler Automobile dealers won’t be able to sell cars without recall repair work or they risk losing their incentive money under a new agreement with the federal government, Automotive News is reporting.
The agreement was part of the sweeping package penalties imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including up to $105 million in fines. According to the consent agreement by the federal bureau and FCA, the company already asks dealers to complete recall work, but the new mandate would reinforce that existing policy.
In the United States, it’s illegal for a dealer to sell a new car without recall repair work, but no such law exists for used cars. A recent proposal in Congress to force used car dealers to complete open recall repair work was met with opposition.
Fresh from the recent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles infotainment-hacking flap, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last week that it would look further into supplier Harman Kardon for possible vulnerabilities in other cars, the Associated Press reports (via Autoblog).
Harman Kardon produces radios for automakers such as BMW, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, in addition to FCA.
In an order detailing the largest civil penalty for an automaker so far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could have to buy back 500,000 defective trucks and accept trade-in above market value for 1 million defective Jeeps .
The automaker’s record $105 million fine includes a $70 million penalty, $20 million set aside for meeting safety standards dictated by the federal bureau and an additional $15 million in penalties if an independent monitor discovers further safety violations.