Feds To Fine Fiat Chrysler Automobiles $70M For Under-reporting Death, Injuries

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

Federal regulators Thursday fined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles $70 million for under-reporting death and injury claims from vehicles as far back as 2003, officials announced in a statement. The fine is related to a September announcement from the automaker to the Transportation Department that the automaker had violated terms of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act.

The automaker issued a statement saying it would accept the penalty and agree to a consent order that would require FCA to submit crash data from the cars.

“FCA US LLC accepts these penalties and is revising its processes to ensure regulatory compliance. However, FCA US is confident that it identified and addressed all issues that arose during the relevant time period, using alternate data sources,” the company said in a statement.

In its Consent Order with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, FCA acknowledged that it had under reported the death and injury claims, but said that in large part, coding errors in its Early Warning Reporting system led to its failure to report claims to regulators.

By adding new brands to the automaker’s fold, the EWR system failed to accurately report crashes, according to the filing:

… Specifically, FCA US acknowledges that it did not report these death and injury incidents, in large part, because: 1) FCA US failed to report certain incidents due to coding problems in its EWR system that failed to recognize when reportable information was received or updated and, as a result, failed to report certain incidents to NHTSA; and 2) FCA US did not update its EWR system to reflect new FCA US brands.

Earlier this year, NHTSA fined Honda $70 million for similar violations of the TREAD Act.

“Today’s announcement sends a very clear message to the entire industry that manufacturers have responsibility for the complete and timely reporting of this critical safety information,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in January. “The actions we are requiring will push Honda to significantly raise the bar on the effectiveness of its (early warning reporting) program. Our ongoing oversight will ensure compliance and determine if there is cause for additional actions.”

The $70 million fine for FCA follows a $105 million fine by safety officials in July for botched recalls of nearly two dozen models of its vehicles that affected millions of cars.

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

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  • Callmeishmael Callmeishmael on Dec 10, 2015

    Of all the brands that one might want to reinstate in the US I can think of few worse choices than FIAT. I say this as someone who owned and drove three of the frog eye FIAT 500s, a FIAT 600 sedan and a FIAT 1100 TV. Fairly or not, the brand came to stand for tiny, unreliable cars. Remember "Fix It Again, Tony"? To come back to the US with another tiny, unreliable car seems imprudent at best.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Dec 10, 2015

    @CoryDL - "-Does not make reliable things (save their trucks)." You need to remove the "save their trucks" part. They finally broke top 3 JD Power for 1/2 tons but Consumer Reports once again said that Ram trucks failed to make it onto their "Recommended" list. University of Michigan did a study on return on investment for diesel powered vehicles. Dodge/Ram trucks had the poorest ROI. The thing that makes that fact even more bitter for Dodge/Ram is the fact that the study was done over the time frame when Ford was selling the infamous 6.0 Power Stroke.

  • MaintenanceCosts Looks like the best combination of capability, interior comfort, and subtle appearance can be achieved by taking a Laramie (crew cab, short bed, 4x4 of course) and equipping it with the Sport Appearance, Towing Technology, and Level 2 packages as well as a few standalone options. That's my pick.Rebel is too CRUSH THAT CAN BRO and Limited and up are too cowboy Cadillac.
  • Xidex easier to buy a mustang that already sounds like that. love the coyote growl
  • Oberkanone Shaker motor on an EV. No thanks.
  • Oberkanone Crew Cab 6'4" box, 4x4, BighornInterested in midsize truck from Ram. Our fleet includes fullsize truck as well as Maverick compact and something midsize could replace both. Ram is 1st choice of the current full size offerings, with Ford in 2nd place.
  • EBFlex Nice truck, but it needs a proper engine.