The government first discovered a potential problem with the automaker's reporting in late July, and FCA US has been investigating the issue since. NHTSA claims that the problem appears linked to the way the company gathers and reports safety information. The agency is still investigating how serious the flaws are and their causes. "This represents a significant failure to meet a manufacturer's safety responsibilities," NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind.Rosekind said in a statement.
FCA US admits that it "identified deficiencies" in the reporting, but in a statement the company said that it notified NHTSA of the issue immediately. The company promised that it is taking this problem "extremely seriously" and pledged to remedy the situation.
In late July, FCA US was hit with a potential $105-million fine by NHTSA for the way the automaker conducted some recalls. As part of that agreement, the company also consented to more rigorous oversight by safety regulators in the future and a buy-back of some affected vehicles.
Other automakers have been punished for failing to submit EWR data. Honda incurred a $70 million fine in January from NHTSA for missing 1,729 incidents over 11 years. Ferrari had to pay $3.5 million in 2014 for not sending them in for three years.
September 29, 2015
"In late July, NHTSA notified Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of an apparent discrepancy in FCA's Early Warning Report data. FCA has informed NHTSA that in investigating that discrepancy, it has found significant under-reported notices and claims of deaths, injuries and other information required as part of the Early Warning Reporting system. Preliminary information suggests that this under-reporting is the result of a number of problems with FCA's systems for gathering and reporting EWR data. This represents a significant failure to meet a manufacturer's safety responsibilities. NHTSA will take appropriate action after gathering additional information on the scope and causes of this failure." – Mark Rosekind, NHTSA Administrator.
Statement: TREAD Reporting
September 29, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - As a result of FCA US LLC's heightened scrutiny of its regulatory reporting obligations growing out of its recent Consent Order with NHTSA, FCA US identified deficiencies in its TREAD reporting. FCA US promptly notified NHTSA of these issues, and committed to a thorough investigation, to be followed by complete remediation. FCA US is in regular communication with NHTSA about its progress in the investigation. FCA US takes this issue extremely seriously, and will continue to cooperate with NHTSA to resolve this matter and ensure these issues do not re-occur.