Just before the holiday weekend on Thursday of last week, Fiat Chrysler was brought before the court for failing to comply with federal laws in 23 separate recalls covering more than 11 million vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) agency stated that Fiat Chrysler acted negligently in its communication with consumers during and after numerous recalls over the last few years. Although the agency’s chief, Mark Rosekind, did not testify at the hearing, it has been made clear that the NHTSA will seek large penalties from the company. This course of action marks a new trend in the area of auto defect action by the NHTSA, which has been criticized in the recent past for not imposing harsher penalties on recall issues by Takata and other automakers.
As of now, Fiat Chrysler has been accused of failing to promptly notify vehicle owners of recalls, delaying the repairs of defective models and neglecting to notify regulators of changes in recall schedules. The claims made date back to 2013 and affect a wide range of vehicles and auto parts. The result of these recall issues have ranged from minor injuries to death. So far, numerous consumers have come forward to explain the recall issues they have dealt with due to Fiat Chrysler’s negligence. Many of these recall issues involve new parts placed in Fiat Chrysler vehicles that still caused problems and did not fix the original auto defects.
Scott Kunselman, the top safety executive of the Fiat Chrysler U.S. branch, did not deny the claims made against the company. Instead, he stated that the company has learned from its mistakes and is initiating a new safety plan for the future. The next course of action between Fiat Chrysler and the NHTSA may include a consent agreement and/or civil penalties for the 23 recalls. More information about this news story can be found on the New York Times website.
If you own a Fiat Chrysler vehicle, take the following steps:
It is important to note that the Fiat Chrysler investigation is in the beginning stages. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a car accident involving a Fiat Chrysler vehicle and you believe that the accident occurred due to a defective part, contact our Detroit personal injury lawyers to discuss your case and get the expert help you need. At the law firm of Goodman Acker P.C., our attorneys specialize in helping victims injured in product defects. Visit our Defective Product page for more specific information about this legal area.
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