FCA US has reached a consensual resolution to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation into 23 recall campaigns. The NHTSA claimed that FCA was slow to respond or did not respond to certain recall orders.
The recalls in question affected approximately 500,000 vehicles with the vast majority being Ram pickup trucks. Some older Jeep and Dodge SUVs are also included in this agreement. These Ram Truck recalls primarily had to do with defects in the steering system. The affected trucks include: 2008 through 2012 chassis cab, 2009 through 2011 light duty and 2008 through 2012 heavy duty Rams.
FCA US agreed to pay a penalty of $70 million to the NHTSA. The company also agreed to spend approximately “$20 million on industry and consumer outreach activities and incentives to enhance certain recall and service campaign completion rates.” If FCA US fails to comply with the aforementioned consent order, then there could be an additional fine of $15 million.
FCA US released a clarifying statement to explain the additional vehicle buy back program. The company will offer to buy back the trucks that have been identified with still outstanding recalls. The company will “repurchase those vehicles at a price equal to the original purchase price less a reasonable allowance for depreciation plus ten percent. However, customers responding to the recall may continue to keep their vehicles and have them repaired in accordance with the original recall.” The statement stays that there are fewer than 200,000 vehicles eligible for this program. The trucks that were bought back will be fixed and resold.
FCA US clarification statement.
Here is a video that shows the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel tackling the Ike Gauntlet extreme towing test.