The following is an excerpt from Kate Gibson | December 10, 2015 | CBSNews.com |
Auto manufacturer Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) will pay $70 million in penalties for failing to provide early warning report data, its second multimillion-dollar fine this year related to safety.
The fine follows the company's admission in September that it failed over several years to report legally required safety data, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Thursday in a statement. The maximum penalty allowed is $35 million, so the $70 million involved two violations.
"Accurate, early-warning reporting is a legal requirement, and it's also part of a manufacturer's obligation to protect the safety of the traveling public," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in the statement. "We need FCA and other automakers to move toward a stronger, more proactive safety culture, and when they fall short, we will continue to exercise our enforcement authority to set them on the right path."
The failures stem from problems in FCA's electronic system for monitoring and reporting safety data, including improper coding and failure to account for changes in brand names, the federal agency said. The government relies on the filings to track patterns and potential safety issues. The system, called Early Warning Reporting, was put in place in 2000, after a slew of highway rollovers involving Ford Explorers with Firestone tires.
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