After today’s public hearing in Washington, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it will punish Fiat Chrysler for its mishandling of 23 recalls involving over 11 million cars.
NHTSA head Mark Rosekind spoke with the AP after today’s 2-hour hearing, saying the evidence of Fiat Chrysler’s failures is “very straightforward” and “there’s a pattern that’s been going on for some time.”
That evidence is what the AP describes as a “litany of failures”, including failing to notify customers of recalls, difficulties in producing and disributing the appropriate parts, and not delivering solutions to known problems.
Rosekind said a number of options for agency action are “on the table,” including fines against the company and requiring it to buy back vehicles subject to recall. NHTSA can fine automakers a maximum of $35 million per infraction, so Chrysler could face millions in penalties. It’s unlikely, though, that the company would face the top fine in all 23 recalls.
The public comment period of the investigation ends on July 17 and NHTSA is saying it’s planning to act against Fiat Chrysler by the end of the month.