Fiat Chrysler Hit with $70 Million Fine for Failing to Report Safety Data to DOT
A Denver car accident attorney discusses the $70M fine the DOT imposed on Fiat.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has recently just been hit with a $70 million civil penalty from federal regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This fine has been issued due to FCA’s “failure to report legally required safety data” to federal authorities “over several years,” according to a recent NHTSA announcement.
While this penalty is certainly hefty, it is not the only civil fine that the NHTSA has issued Fiat Chrysler this year. In fact, this past July, FCA was issued a massive $105 million civil fine for mishandling more than 20 safety recalls. The latest $70 million fine, which has been imposed as an amendment to the July penalties, now brings the total amount of FCA’s civil penalties up to $175 million.
According to officials, $140 million of this penalty is due for cash payment immediately while the remaining $35 million will become due “if the company fails to meet its obligations under the consent order.”
Commenting on this action against FCA, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has noted that:
Accurate, early-warning reporting is a legal requirement, and it’s also part of a manufacturer’s obligation to protect the safety of the traveling public… We need FCA and other automakers to move toward a stronger, more proactive safety culture, and when they fall short, we will continue to exercise our enforcement authority to set them on the right path.
Background on Fiat’s Failures
Fiat is now under fire from federal authorities for significantly underreporting the injury and death claims, as well as the warranty claims and other possible safety issues, that consumers have filed with the company. Motor vehicle manufacturers are required by law (per the TREAD Act of 2000) to report this data to the DOT so that regulators can “identify and investigate potential defects that may require a safety recall.”
Although the extent of FCA’s reporting failures is detailed in the official Consent Order, Fiat has also reportedly retained a third-party auditor to evaluate the “full extent of the reporting failure.” As part of this Consent Order, Fiat has reportedly acknowledged its failures “dating to the beginning of the requirements in 2003.”
Elaborating on these Consent Orders for FCA, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind has explained that:
NHTSA’s enforcement actions in recent months have been designed not only to penalize previous actions, but to increase safety going forward…FCA has expressed a desire to use this situation as a stepping stone to a stronger, more proactive safety posture, and NHTSA is ready to work with FCA and the industry as a whole to improve safety.
Contact an Experienced Denver Car Accident Attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C.
If you have been injured by defective vehicle equipment and/or as a result of a traffic crash, you can turn to a Denver car accident attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. for experienced help advocating your rights and pursuing justice.
To find out more about how we can help you, call us at (303) 795-5900 or email our firm using the contact form on this page to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you will receive clear, honest legal advice about your case, your rights and your best options for moving forward.
Call a trusted attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. at (303) 795-5900 to get on the road to recovery now. You can also email our firm via the contact firm on this page.
As proud champions of the people, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions, explain the law and your rights, and help you take whatever steps necessary to recover the compensation you’re entitled to. With us in your corner, you can be confident that you have the legal support and representation necessary to successfully resolve your claim.
Don’t delay your recovery for a second longer – and don’t be misguided into thinking that you have to go through the process alone. Our attorneys are here, ready to help – and you won’t have to pay us anything until (or unless) there is a recovery in your case.
Free Legal E-Books
Click on any one of the e-books to access your free copy!
WE KNOW HOW TO WIN
CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver. As a result of the motor vehicle accident, client was rendered a quadriplegic and needed a life care plan. Outcome: $9,600,000
CASE: Against Insurance company for failure to pay for property damage after a gas and fire explosion. Outcome: $1,600,000
CASE: Medical malpractice for failure to diagnose a descending aorta aneurism, resulting in death. Outcome: $1,300,000
CASE: Neck and back injuries from car accident. Client had ongoing symptoms and needed injections for attempted remediation of pain. Settled for $485,000
CASE: Client was injured in a 2 vehicle collision. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion and multiple injuries to the neck. Outcome: $6,000,000
CASE: Client was in her car and was T-Boned by a commercial vehicle. Her cerebral spinal fluid leaked and she suffered a concussion and traumatic brain injury with neck and lumbar (low back) injuries. Her neck injury cau