Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the third largest US automaker and the seventh biggest in the world, got fined just two months ago a record $105 million for breaching standards of US auto safety campaigns.
Now the carmaker has again issues with safety data and lax safety reports, with potential fines looming again over the head of the Italian-American company. US federal regulators announced on Tuesday they found what looks like a difference in FCA’s Early Warning Report data – every automaker must report its safety problems to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under federal law. A quick internal probe revealed info about car-related fatalities and injury claims was under-reported. “This represents a significant failure to meet a manufacturer’s safety responsibilities,” commented in a statement NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. The Early Warning Reports are meant to deliver data that could lead to the discovery of safety flaws and then to recalls. So far neither the automaker nor the regulators said which vehicles have been involved or whether the data would showcase safety defects and possible recalls.
NHTSA first found the issue back in July, while the regulator and the automaker were announcing a deal that would cease years of safety lapses covering millions of autos. Fiat Chrysler was fined $70 million through a cash payment, had to invest $20 million into its recall procedures and levy another $15 million if it was caught breaching rules again. The latter could now be required if the auto safety watchdog concludes the early warning report issue was a new breach of federal law.