Corporate Business | July 27 2015

The road to more effective recalls

There’s nothing more important to all of us here at FCA US than the safety of our customers and their passengers. That’s why we’re taking steps to improve not only the way we communicate product recalls, but the number of vehicles customers are bringing to dealerships to have those repairs made. This includes certain past recalls.

The steps we’re taking come as a result of an agreement with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and include financial penalties of up to $105 million and the installation of a monitor to oversee future recall campaigns.

Specifically, here’s a rundown of actions and penalties:

— Civil penalties of up to $105 million which include:

  • $20 million over the life of the agreement to develop, implement and support wide-ranging initiatives to enhance vehicle safety — from working with suppliers to help them better anticipate possible safety issues, to distributing safety-related information at trade shows such as the SAE World Congress.
  • $70 million in fines for the Company’s handling of various recalls, mostly affecting older vehicles.

— Commitments to further encourage customers to respond to recall notices, specifically:

  • FCA US agrees to incentivize customers affected by a high-profile Jeep campaign to schedule service if they have not already done so. Affected customers who have not responded to the campaign will receive a $100 gift card if they present their vehicles for dealer inspection.
  • Customers affected by the Grand Cherokee campaign (13V-252) are, if they have not yet responded to the recall, eligible for a trade-in incentive of $1,000 over the fair-market value of their vehicles.

— An order to repurchase certain recalled vehicles that have gone unremedied, specifically those listed in NHTSA campaigns 13V-038, 13V-527 and 13V-529. These involve various pickup and heavy-duty trucks, and Dodge and Chrysler SUVs from model-year 2008 through 2012. The Company will notify potentially eligible customers, who also may opt for the free remedy in lieu of a repurchase.

— The appointment of an independent monitor who will oversee the Company’s recall execution and report his or her findings to NHTSA. FCA US can choose up to three candidates but if the company and NHTSA can’t agree on one, NHTSA can appoint anyone it chooses.

The term of the agreement is three years, but NHTSA has the option of extending it another year.

In the end, the goal is taking every reasonable step to give our customers, and anyone who rides along with them, confidence their vehicles are safe and that, when necessary, recalls are communicated effectively and repairs are made quickly.