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Fiat Chrysler Fined $70 Million

Fiat Chrysler has been involved in multiple recalls in 2015. Some of the most prominent Fiat Chrysler recalls include the recall of vehicles manufactured with defective Takata airbags; the recall of more than one million Ram trucks with faulty steering; and the recall of thousands of sports utility vehicles for radio software problems and malfunctions with antilock brakes. But if the number of recalls hit the company hard, the true blow was not delivered until this week, when the feds fined Fiat Chrysler an additional $70 million.

The Obama Administration Fines Fiat Chrysler

According to a December 10, 2015 release published by The Hill, the $70 million fine is being levied for the automaker’s failure to properly repair cars or/and replace them for owners. And the fine is not the first that the company is facing; an earlier $105 million fine was assessed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration against the car company because it failed to report defects to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration per Early Warning Reporting, which is required under law. (Companies are required under law to disclose any claims that assert that vehicle defects lead to serious injuries or death).

Should Chrysler Owe More?

The maximum fine amount that can be assessed is $35 million per offense – the $70 million fine, then, implies that the company was found to have committed two violations. According to many though, the fine was long overdue. Joan Claybrook, a formed administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, quoted by The New York Times, told reporters that she was “surprised it’s only $70 million,” and that “Chrysler has been violating the law with impunity for too long.”

Fiat Chrysler told reporters that it is “intent on rebuilding” its relationship with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” and that it has “renewed resolve to improve” its handling of recalls.

The Gravity of Fiat Chrysler’s Errors

The biggest part of the fine was assessed, as mentioned above, because Fiat Chrysler failed to report claims of serious injuries and deaths related to its vehicles defects to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When a failure such as this occurs, there is no way for the Administration to notify drivers of similar vehicles with potential defect of the vehicles’ dangers. As such, car owners, their passengers, and others on the road are put at risk.

What Your Rights Are if You Are in an Accident Caused by a Vehicle Defect

You have the right to drive a vehicle that is free from defects or safety concerns. In the event that you are involved in an accident or sustain an injury that would not have occurred but for a defective vehicle or vehicle part, you have the right to legal recourse.

Contact an Attorney Today

The skilled product liability attorneys, serving Pennsylvania and New Jersey, at Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. want to represent you if a defect vehicle has contributed to your injuries. Contact our team today to learn more about your rights at (215) 567-3500.

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