Fiat has announced a recall of 29,500 Fiat 500L hatchbacks in the US and Canadian markets due to concerns that the roomiest member of the Fiat range features knee airbags that won't deploy unless the occupant's seatbelt is fastened.
Back in the '60s and '70s, Fiat didn't exactly have an enviable reputation for quality. Of course, lack of quality and a tarnished brand reputation eventually saw the Italian automaker flee the market, only to return with the 500 and the larger 500L in the last few years. However, if J.D. Power's Initial Quality Survey for 2014 is to be believed, modern Fiat products haven't improved quite as much as we might have hoped. Fiat thinks that there is a very simple explanation for its poor performanc
Fiat is really trying to push its five-door 500L, which has gotten off to a rather disappointing first year of sales. The Italian brand's first big-name effort involved rapper P. Diddy and a pair of very unfortunate desert pedestrians. Now, it's gone even bigger (quite literally), teaming up with everyone's favorite, city destroying, radiation-breathing green lizard monster – Godzilla.
The saying goes that man cannot live by bread alone, and neither can automakers live by selling one car alone. This holds especially true for automakers with a budding dealer network to support, like the Fiat brand, which returned to US shores in 2011 after a 28-year absence. The company's single car to sell at the time was the Fiat 500, a cute retro rebirth of the original, iconic Cinquecento, which your toddler now calls Luigi thanks to Pixar.