Faced with intense scrutiny over safety issues, US automakers scramble to create new task forces to deal with the issues, as 2014 will soon go down in history as the “year of the recall.”
After cross-town rival General Motors established a similar unit, Chrysler Group LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Italy’s Fiat SpA, has announced the creation of a new office called “vehicle safety and regulatory compliance”. Company veteran Scott Kunselman, one of the automaker’s senior vice presidents, will lead the new department.
Since February, when GM announced its delayed recall of 2.6 million cars equipped with potentially deadly defective ignition switches, automakers in the US have issued numerous recalls, leading to an all time new record – just seven months in the year.
“This action will help intensify the company’s continuing commitment to vehicle safety and regulatory compliance,” Chrysler said in a statement. “Effective immediately, this function will be served by a stand-alone organization,” with Kunselman linked directly to Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne.
Before his new appointment, the veteran senior executive headed Chrysler’s North American purchasing and supplier quality and before that he was in charge of the carmaker’s engineering division, which also dealt with safety and regulatory aspects.