The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced on Tuesday that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had confessed to vastly underreporting the number of death and injury claims tied to potential defects in its cars. Fiat Chrysler said it discovered the omitted data during an internal review resulting from the automaker’s $105 million July settlement with regulators over its management of previous recalls. This new revelation could result in further penalties.
This represents a significant failure to meet a manufacturer’s safety responsibilities… N.H.T.S.A. will take appropriate action after gathering additional information on the scope and causes of this failure,
said N.H.T.S.A. administrator Mary Rosekind.
The Administration declined to provide details on the number of claims omitted, or when they occurred. The announcement comes on the heels of Volkswagen’s admission that it installed software in its cars in order to falsify emissions data during E.P.A. testing. Car manufacturers recalled roughly 60 million vehicles in 2014 for safety concerns, including 27 million General Motors cars with faulty ignition switches that led to at least 124 deaths.
In January, Honda Motors was forced to settle charges with the N.H.T.S.A. that it had failed to report more than 1,700 death and injury claims filed over an 11-year period. The $70 million fine was the largest ever handed down by the Administration until Fiat Chrysler’s July settlement, which also required that the company allow its safety practices to be overseen by an independent monitor.
Read more here – “Fiat Chrysler Concedes Violating Rule on Reporting Death and Injury Claims,” (Bill Vlasic, The New York Times).