Fiat Chrysler is proof positive that you can’t mishandle a recall and ignore the ramifications. Their defective Ram pickups and older model Jeeps service issues may be the undoing to their auto kingdom. With the threat of millions of dollars lying over their heads, it’s clear that this company is in trouble. There were two dozen recalls that were messed up according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The defective parts in the Ram trucks caused drivers to lose control. The recall of 2013 affected over 570,000 vehicles. The internal steering parts were malfunctioning and there were casualties. If they have to buy back one third of them, many of them have already been repaired. In the Jeeps, the problem was the rear mounted gas tanks. There are more than a million of those SUVs in question. The auto maker offered owners an incentive of $100 to get them repaired.
With a civil penalty of over $100 million dollars hanging over their head, it will surpass the $70 million dollar fine that Honda Motor Company received many years ago. And that’s gonna be huge according to James Dondero. Perhaps the authorities are trying to set an example with this auto company. This is definitely an aggressive punishment, but they are making a point with them for not properly disclosing defects. Identifying them is just not enough; they have to be proactive when lives are on the line.
The recall goes all the way back to 2003 when the Aspen and Durango SUVs were brought into question. Over 700,000 of these models have been excluded from the buyback program, as they have been already serviced. Will this break Fiat Chrysler? It certainly could be the beginning of the end. They won’t be the first car company to face perils, and they probably won’t be the last either.