Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, the parent company of FCA US, the third largest US automaker, has retaliated against the pressure exerted by the US auto safety regulator, telling the US officials that a new public hearing on the recalls concerning at least ten million vehicles is actually unnecessary.
On July 2 a public hearing on the company’s way of handling the recalls of 20 safety campaigns for autos, including the Jeep vehicles with fuel tanks that are prone to explosions when impacted from behind, has been scheduled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The public scrutiny would be the largest the regulator has ever called and comes as NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said the agency has grown frustrated by its attempts to force FCA US LLC – FCA NV’s unit – to speed up the correction of the defects that include fires, loss of control, inadvertent airbag deployments and fuel leaks. The NHTSA asked FCA to provide details about recall data by Monday the latest, but on Thursday the agency published an 18-page response from the automaker, where the latter argued against the hearing’s utility.
According to the document, the carmaker already had successful recall programs, but it was also taking appropriate measures to review the process and improve it where possible. “Our overall completion rate is nearly the best in the industry,” FCA said in the document. “FCA US believes our approach to review and identify with NHTSA input and implement changes based on the (lessons learned) obviates the need for a hearing.” A NHTSA spokesperson said the hearing would not be postponed or canceled, in a bid to see if FCA was indeed complying with its obligations.