WASHINGTON -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to continue meeting monthly with the agency on the company's potential safety issues for another year, extending a part of the automaker’s 2015 consent order with the agency.
Since the July 2015 consent order took effect, Fiat Chrysler has been required to provide the agency with a monthly list of all safety-related matters under review at the company. It also must meet with NHTSA officials on a monthly basis to discuss those issues, as well as dealer technical service bulletins, frequent warranty claims and field reports about potential defects.
NHTSA, in a letter dated July 15, said it was extending the monthly meetings and oversight for an additional year “to facilitate continued communication between FCA and NHTSA on potential defect issues,” adding that the decision was “not based on a concern about FCA’s performance to date.”
FCA paid a $105 million civil penalty, which included a $70 million fine, as part of the sweeping July 2015 consent order to resolve a NHTSA probe of more than 23 recalls since 2009. The agency found the automaker had failed to follow U.S. auto safety laws during the review. The 2015 deal also required FCA to hire an independent monitor and agree to buy back hundreds of thousands of vehicles.
“FCA US LLC agrees that the monthly meetings, and the information provided in connection with those meetings, have been very effective and productive in facilitating timely and open communication between the Company and the Agency relating to potential defect issues,” an FCA spokesman said in a statement.
“We are intent on continuing to build our relationship with NHTSA as we embrace our leadership role in the industry as a public safety advocate.”