Chrysler facing record setting $105M fine for mishandling recalls

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(CNN) — Federal auto safety regulators are set to hit Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with a record fine, as large as $105 million, for mishandling recalls, a government source with knowledge of the issue said Sunday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been pressing the automaker over its handling of recalls for several years.

NHTSA is expected to also announce that Chrysler (FCAU) has agreed to the appointment of an auditor to oversee its recalls. Chrysler declined to comment Sunday.

Chrysler will be able to recover some of the fine money if it meets certain requirements going forward, the source said. News of the fine was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

The fine is associated with 23 recalls involving 11 million vehicles, the source told CNNMoney. It includes a recall of about 1.5 million Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 1993-2007 with gas tanks that can leak after a severe rear impact.

Chrysler has said it has so far repaired about 500,000 of those vehicles after sending recall notices to all affected Jeep owners.

Now Chrysler reportedly may offer cash incentives to the remaining customers to answer recall notices.

Related: Chrysler recalls 1.4 million hackable cars

NHTSA fined Honda (HMC) $70 million earlier this year for failing to report accidents and safety issues. Last year, General Motors (GM) was ordered to pay $35 million for its 10-year delay in reporting a faulty ignition switch now tied to at least 124 deaths.

The federal government’s largest ever criminal penalty against an automaker was $1.2 billion, whichToyota (TM) agreed to pay last March to settle charges it mishandled recalls related to unintended acceleration.

— CNNMoney’s Peter Valdes-Dapena and Chris Isidore contributed to this report.

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3 comments

  • TheFoundingFathers

    Also a little bit of info from the UAW and other auto industry insiders , the dealerships will also be forced to buy back all newer vehicles at full sticker price. If this does happen say goodbye to Chrysler and jeep dealer they will have no choice but to close the doors.

  • Larry H.

    This is the tip of the iceberg. If the NHTSA were to seriously investigate Chrysler they would find THOUSANDS of deaths attributable to deliberate coverups of known production errors which presented safety issues going back at least as far back as the late 1990s. If you want just a small sample of the sorts of things I am talking about, the NHTSA’s website has all their consumer complaints available for public viewing on it, including the entire history of the complaints surrounding these Jeeps, Minivans, Pacificas, and other historically problematic vehicles with KNOWN manufacturing defects. MANY of these vehicles are still on the road, and some of them are even referred to by Chrysler dealership mechanics as “time bombs” because their owners are totally ignorant that there is anything whatsoever wrong with them. This is a great move by the NHTSA, but they need to consider it a first step, and keep digging into Chrysler’s own documentation regarding each and every potentially dangerous flaw reported, because the have clearly not been operating with the safety of their customers in mind for a very, very long time.