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Record fines coming?

by Bill Cawthon on

Detroit News reported that Fiat Chrysler will get hit with a record-making $105 million fine, and will have to repurchase some vehicles, due to sloppy treatment of recalls.

Citing an unnamed source, the News and Wall Street Journal wrote that the settlement between the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and FCA US LLC could be announced as soon as tomorrow.


The agency could have levied fines of up to $700 million over the 23 recalls it claims were not handled properly. FCA’s Scott Kunselman admitted that FCA’s behavior was “sloppy.”

As is typical in such settlements, Fiat Chrysler will likely have to pay only a portion of the fine. The remainder may be forgiven if the company fulfills its end of the deal.

Unlike General Motors, whose shortfalls have caused an alleged 125 deaths, Fiat Chrysler will have to have an independent monitor to  audit compliance.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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