"Significant questions have been raised as to whether this company is meeting its obligations to protect the drivers from safety defects, and today we are launching a process to ensure that those obligations are met," NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind said in the announcement of the hearing.
The 20 recalls that the agencies are investigating date from between 2013 and 2015. Just some of these include the action to make the fuel tanks safer on the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty; FCA US' Takata inflator repairs; inadvertently deploying airbags in the Liberty, Grand Cherokee and Dodge Viper; and the company's ignition switch fix for the Chrysler Town & Country, Grand Caravan and Journey. Failure to submit reports about all of these on time could result in a $7,000 per day fine. You can read the whole list in the PDF for the special order.
In a statement to Autoblog, FCA US said, "The average completion rate for FCA US LLC recalls exceeds the industry average and all FCA US campaigns are conducted in consultation with NHTSA. The Company will cooperate fully."
The government agencies claim that they have received complaints from customers alleging that they weren't notified of recalls; parts not being available; difficulty getting an appointment, and misinformation from dealers. During the hearing witnesses from FCA US, NHTSA and the public have the opportunity to present evidence on each campaign.
NHTSA has concerns about 20 recalls and sets public hearing date for July 2
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will hold a public hearing to determine whether automaker Fiat Chrysler has failed to remedy safety defects and issue required notices in 20 recalls.
During the July 2 hearing, witnesses from NHTSA, the automaker, and the public will be able to present evidence on Fiat Chrysler's performance in each recall. If NHTSA determines, based on the hearing and other evidence, that the company has failed its legal obligations under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the agency could order actions designed to improve the company's performance, including the buy-back or replacement of affected vehicles.
"Any auto defect that compromises the safety of our driving public is unacceptable," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Auto manufacturers are obligated to effectively remedy safety defects when they are discovered, and if they fail in that responsibility, we are obligated to act."
Today, NHTSA also issued a special order to Fiat Chrysler ordering the company to provide information on its recall performance.
In recent months, NHTSA has identified problems and expressed concerns with the administration, execution, and pace of vehicles being remedied across a number of Fiat Chrysler automobiles. In addition, the agency has received consumer complaints involving parts availability issues, lack of notification, difficulty obtaining service appointments, and misinformation from dealers. Additional information is available on: www.safercar.gov
"It is not enough to identify defects. Manufacturers have to fix them," Administrator Mark Rosekind said. "Significant questions have been raised as to whether this company is meeting its obligations to protect the drivers from safety defects, and today we are launching a process to ensure that those obligations are met."
Statement: NHTSA Recall ScrutinyMay 19, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -
FCA US LLC takes seriously its commitment to provide safe vehicles that meet customer expectations for quality and workmanship.
The Company is fully aligned with NHTSA's desire to promote efficient execution of vehicle recalls and enhance completion rates. We look forward to providing a comprehensive response to NHTSA's inquiry with respect to the cited campaigns consistent with the Company's longstanding commitment to transparency.
FCA US will continue to cooperate with NHTSA in its efforts to identify ways in which it can more quickly identify issues, determine fixes and execute campaigns.