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Fiat Chrysler Safety Recalls: U.S. DOT Announces Fiat Chrysler Enforcement Action

jeepLast week, Fiat Chrysler announced a voluntary recall of approximately 1.4 million vehicles in response to an incident earlier in the week in which hackers demonstrated that they could take control of one of the company’s cars using the Internet. Affected vehicles include several popular models made by Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler and RAM brands. (Owners can check here to see what vehicles are included in the recall.)

Fiat Chrysler said in a Friday statement that affected customers would be given USB devices containing software to patch the security flaw. Dealership mechanics can also update the software, but the voluntary nature of the recall means many affected vehicles could remain vulnerable. Owners can check here to see what vehicles are included in this recall.

Moreover, this week, federal regulators are fining Fiat Chrysler $105 million for failing to acknowledge and address safety defects in a timely fashion. This is the largest civil penalty largest ever imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which will be accompanied by three years of “unprecedented” federal oversight, the agency says. Fiat Chrysler has also agreed to buy back some vehicles from their owners. The record fine includes a $70 million cash penalty, $20 million in spending to meet requirements and an additional $15 million due if there are any more violations.

Some of the $20 million will be spent buying back a number of trucks and SUVs, offering $100 gift cards to qualified Jeep owners for getting their vehicles fixed, and extending a $1,000 bonuses on trade-ins of certain Jeep Grand Cherokees. To read more about this major recall click here.

Fiat Chrysler will also offer $1,000 on trade-ins of 1993 to 1998 model-year Jeep Grand Cherokees. Owners can also apply the money to service on other FCA vehicles they might own. FCA says more than 1 million Jeeps need to be fixed for a fire risk linked to the position of the vehicle’s gas tank. NHTSA and Fiat Chrysler have clashed for years over the gas-tank issue affecting 2.7 million Jeeps, but last year came to an agreement on how to protect the tanks: by installing a trailer hitch.

More than 70 people have been killed in fires involving rear-end collisions in these older Jeeps. FCA is facing dozens of lawsuits over the fires. In April, a Georgia jury awarded $150 million to the family of Remington Walden, 4, who burned to death in a rear-ended 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. FCA is fighting the verdict and says it’s willing to pay $4 million for wrongful death and $1 million for pain and suffering, according to the Atlanta-based Daily Report.

Check if your vehicle is included in this recall by clicking here.

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