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Traffic rules Fiat Chrysler hit with $105m fine over safety lapses

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles agreed to pay a civil penalty of $105 million for repeatedly failing to properly execute safety recalls

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Chief Executive Officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group Sergio Marchionne play

Chief Executive Officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group Sergio Marchionne

US regulators have imposed a record fine of $105m (£67.6m) on Fiat Chrysler over recall failures.

Under the agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the automaker will also offer to buy back as many as 1.5 million vehicles.

An independent monitor will audit the US-Italian company's recall performance for three years.

The fine comes days after the firm announced another recall over software faults in one of its models.

The $105m fine sets a new record for the NHTSA, topping the previous record of $70m on Japanese car maker Honda in January this year.

The regulator accused the auto maker of problems with the execution of 23 vehicle safety recalls covering more than 11 million defective cars.

'Putting millions at risk'

In a statement, the NHTSA said that Fiat Chrysler had since admitted violations in three areas, "effective and timely recall remedies, notification to vehicle owners and dealers and notifications to NHTSA.

"Fiat Chrysler's pattern of poor performance put millions of its customers, and the driving public, at risk," NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind said.

As part of the deal with the regulator, Fiat Chrysler agreed to give the owners of 1.5 million vehicles the option of selling their cars back to the manufacturer.

Included were one million Jeep vehicles with rear fuel tanks that can leak and catch fire in collisions. The fault has been linked to numerous fatal accidents.

More than half a million of the cars subject to the buyback offer have faulty suspension parts that might cause a loss of control.

The recalled models covered by the agreement also include the Dodge Ram, as well as Dakota and Chrysler Aspen trucks with vehicles dating back as early as 2008.

Source: BBC

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