By on July 27, 2015


After this morning’s announcement that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles would be subject to one of the largest civil penalties for an automaker, reports that the automaker could be on the hook for $2.5 billion in cars aren’t true, the automaker said today.

“While such amounts may exceed the $20 million, contrary to certain reports, FCA US does not expect that the net cost of providing these additional alternatives will be material to its financial position, liquidity or results of operations,” the automaker said in a statement.

In other words, expect to find some screaming deals on Ram trucks in the next few months.

The automaker announced on its website that not all customers would participate in the buyback plan and that 60 percent of the affected vehicles had been repaired already. That leaves roughly 200,000 cars that could be eligible for free repairs or to be purchased by FCA.

Those vehicles would be purchased at “a price equal to the original purchase price less a reasonable allowance for depreciation plus ten percent,” according to the automaker.

The manufacturer said under the guidelines of the penalty, it would be allowed to resell the recalled trucks to the public.

The vehicles that may be eligible for repurchase are:

• 2009-2012 Ram 1500s

• 2008-2012 Ram 1500 Mega Cab 4×4, Ram 2500 4×4, 3500 4×4, 4500 4×4, 4500 4×4

• 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango

• 2009-2011 Dodge Dakota

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29 Comments on “No, Fiat Chrysler Probably Won’t Go Broke Buying Back Used Cars...”

  • avatar


    If only VW bodies could be wrapped around Honda guts and Ram pickups around Chevy.

    • 0 avatar

      Rover tried the wrapping around Honda guts thing ya know.

      • 0 avatar

        What was that model again? I’ll look it up and find ample reason to completely exonerate Honda.

        I mean.. pssht.. Rover

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Weimer

          Sterling 825/827, I believe. Built around 1G Acura Legend drivetrain.

          • 0 avatar

            I found a Rover 600 and 200, saw nothing Honda did wrong save “rear wing rust” which I suppose is Limey for rear fender rot?

            Not exactly pertinent to my wishing for Honda guts in another brand’s body.

            I’ll check out the Sterling. Thanks.

          • 0 avatar

            Here’s my take away on the Sterling:

            “The Sterling fell to the bottom of J.D. Power surveys, while ironically its twin, the Japanese-built Acura Legend, had enjoyed top rankings its first year.”

            Like blaming Revell when little kids botch their models.

          • 0 avatar

            Sterling was the US name for Rover. Rover decided not to use its own name for its US comeback after screwing over US drivers in the 70s.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Weimer

            They insisted on Lucas electrics. Their fate, as we say, was sealed.

          • 0 avatar

            The Sterlings weren’t quite twins. The Brits added their own interior parts, paint and assembly, as well as Lucas electricals. Take a guess which stuff went wrong.

          • 0 avatar

            They added their own B-L build quality as well.

  • avatar

    Anybody know the future of the Ram buyback vehicles?

    Repair and sell here? (if so why can’t they be repaired for current owner?)
    Ship offshore to 3rd world locations?

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe attempting to fix them in a timely fashion for every current owner would gridlock their service departments so badly they’d rather do the buy-back thing for later resale?

    • 0 avatar

      The article clearly states that they are permitted to resell the repaired vehicles to the public. Its also perfectly clear by the article that current owners may choose to have their vehicle repaired so they can keep it, going by the “not all owners will choose the buy-back option” or something to that effect.

      Next time, try reading the article before asking questions.

  • avatar

    Although FCA isn’t without guilt for their involvement in this, I think there is bias in how this story (in general) is being covered. Despite ample evidence supporting GM’s negligence and wanton disregard for its customer’s safety, they seem to have gotten off a little easier. They had fought the NHTSA and government panels with fluent double-talk and foot dragging, quite possibly more than FCA. It’s been all but determined that people have died because of that negligence. Old GM, new GM, whichever version is on trial, they always seem to be America’s sweetheart.

    • 0 avatar

      No GM is not so much America’s sweetheart, as it is the American government’s sweetheart, because it has “skin in the game” as the saying goes…since the government is/was invested in GM, it naturally doesn’t want to look like it invested in a loser. Might hurt people in the next election cycle, which would never do…

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Too bad they didn’t extend back to 2004 Ram 2500s. My brother’s truck had the “death wobble”, and he paid out of pocket to replace the whole front suspension. Now he finds the frame completely rusted from the inside out….effectively rendering it to parted-out status. Only 60k miles; that Hemi sounds sweet.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      Put the Hemi in a 78 model Lil’ Red Express Truck.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      A rusted-out ten year old pickup? That’s typical in my neck of the woods. Contrary to fanboy tenets, this applies to each of the Big 3 and to Japanese trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        The body and under chassis components are fine. I’m trying to understand the science behind the frame rusting from the inside out. His ’92 Dodge didn’t do that, and his 2000 Ford van is fine.

        Rusty panels? Yeah they’re still all over New England despite some great advances since the bad old days, and it’ssomething their Caravan suffers from. That can be expected. Complete frame rust out? Vexing.

  • avatar

    If the vehicles are fit to re-sell, why should they be bought back in the first place? Sounds like a shakedown by NHTSA “because we can”.

    Likewise, if the owner has been told that their vehicle has a safety defect and they need to bring it in for remediation, it shouldn’t take a $100 bribe to get them to show up for a free hitch.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, I don’t understand why some vehicles are eligible for buybacks but not others.

      • 0 avatar

        It has to do with the failure to come up with effective solutions within a certain amount of time after recalling the cars. The first methods they tried to fix the issue failed.

        It’s a similar idea to how lemon laws work: they get a chance to fix it a few times, and if it’s still an issue they have to offer to buy the car back.

  • avatar

    Lucas — The Prince of Darkness.

    Spoken by one who knows.

    1961 Jaguar Mk II 3.8 L sedan

    1966 Norton Dominator SS twin carb cafe racer, made for the British market.

    The Jag would have its lights go black on an open highway in the middle of driving, while doing absolutely nothing you weren’t doing for several minutes previously. Taught you to memorize the shape of the upcoming road.

    And the Norton would blow out its Zener diode rectifiers so frequently that most Norton riders I used to know would carry at least two in their spare parts kit.

    But Sterling didn’t learn…

    I also heard that on the early versions, the wheels were shimmed with close to a dozen shims. A non-dealer mechanic tore one down to work on it (bearing replacement, I recall) and it would make grinding noises.

    Finally found out that each of the almost dozen shims not only had to be replaced in exactly the same order, but also in the same direction they were originally. And I think the exact shim setup was different for each vehicle.

    The mechanic was a pretty good mechanic, but had never heard of or seen anything like that before.

    I can only imagine what it must have cost to have the car worked on, with an almost captive audience for dealer service departments.

    Take my Sterling…please!

    • 0 avatar

      Wow, and people dump on Chinese build quality lol. Though I guess the fault here is not build quality so much as design.

      In any case, I hope FCA is paying scrap value for those Aspens. Because that’s about all they will get for them.

    • 0 avatar

      Sounds like the wheels were shimmed to correct a hub flange runout issue. Those old Hondas had front wheel bearings pressed into the knuckle, with the hub pressed into the bearing, incorporating a captive rotor behind the hub. I guess you could have some flange runout due to the stack up of tolerances, but once you replace the bearing, you’d have to start the shim procedure from square one, the original shims aren’t likely to work in their original location. Now as to why the hub flange had to be shimmed in the first place, because personally I’ve never encountered such a situation before, I would imagine it was bent during a curb or pothole strike. If that was factory, then that’s crazy in my mind. Perhaps it was needed to correct a runout issue with the wheel and not the flange? Or a combination of hub and wheel runout? God only knows what happens during a tire rotation.

      • 0 avatar

        @exfordtech I only heard the story second or maybe even third hand, by a mechanic complaining about what a pain in the *ss that car was.

        I was never a good enough mechanic to really understand what was going on there, just that the shims were needed, and that in the situation he was dealing with, they only eliminated the underlying problem when installed in the proper order, and facing the correct way.

        I have no idea how they determined that, since it is my recollection that it involved over a half dozen shims. So given that there are two ways you can place each shim, that would be a minimum of 12!, twelve factorial different ways to arrange only a half dozen shims.

        For the non-math types, that is 12x11x10x…3x2x1 or 476,001,600 different ways of arranging just six shims. But I don’t know if they were marked and the position recorded before removal, or had markings that made it possible to determine what to do, or what.

        But I would have hated to have to be a non-dealer mechanic running into that for the first time. As was the person who told me that story.

    • 0 avatar

      Here in South Africa Toyota and Nissan as well as Honda sometimes came from the factory with Lucas electrics. My Honda civic (sold here as a ballade not only was made by the Mercedes Benz factory but has a Lucas starter motor but as Lucas no longer present the factory offer a Bosch replacement part)
      To drive in Africa, would you rather have a fault tolerant Norton Commando (two ignition coils, points,condensers, carburetors as well as a 3 phase alternator and three phase rectifier when driving Joburg/Maun over 800km of dirt washboard road or a fuel injected Kawasaki? Hint: Never stranded by Norton (roadside repairs often) but have you tried to buy an efi computer in Lusaka? (left bike behind as had to return to work by hitch hiking as leave finished and 4 day extension already granted)

  • avatar

    “net cost of providing these additional alternatives will be material to its financial position, liquidity or results of operations”

    Gotta have some money in your pocket in order for it to matter that someone took it away.

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