The Italian-American automaker, Fiat Chrysler, is being forced to buy back hundreds of thousands of Ram trucks, as well as other vehicle models. This is the largest of this type of settlement in U.S history. Auto Safety regulators are cracking down on companies that fail to disclose safety issues or neglect to follow through properly on recalls.
Chrysler’s best-selling vehicle – the Ram pickup – was found to have defective steering components which have caused drivers to lose control of their truck. Previous repairs on this defect have failed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says this ongoing problem has caused Fiat-Chrysler to agree to buy back the vehicle model from car owners. The company must at least make this offer, but the customer has the option of getting it fixed instead.
Older Jeeps are also involved in the buy-back because 75 people have been killed due to the fact that the fuel tank is located behind the rear axle. When hit from behind, there is no shield and the fuel tank has been known to rupture and cause a fire.
These Ram and Jeep recalls are all part of a larger settlement between Chrysler and the federal government regarding charges of misreporting in 23 vehicle recalls. Besides the $105 million civil penalty, Fiat Chrysler agreed to strict federal oversight and a third party recall monitor.
Transportation secretary, Anthony Foxx told Fox News: “Today’s action holds Fiat Chrysler accountable for its past failures, pushes them to get unsafe vehicles repaired or off the roads and takes concrete steps to keep Americans safer going forward.”
Fiat Chrysler agreed to the consequences of the ruling, saying they have “renewed resolve to improve our handling of recalls and re-establish the trust our customers place in us.”
The models included in the buy-back are:
- Ram 1500s from 2009 to 2012 (certain models)
- Ram 1500 Mega Cab 4×4 from 2008
- Ram 2500 4×4, 3500 4×4, 4500 4×4, and 5500 4×4 (all from 2008 through 2012)
- 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUVs
- Dodge Dakota pickup from 2009 through 2011
If you or one of your loved ones have been a victim of manufacturing negligence of any kind, we encourage you to discuss your case with one of Tennessee’s most experienced personal injury attorneys at Gilreath & Associates today for a free consultation.