Center for Auto Safety Comment on Fiat Chrysler Public Hearing

Statement of Clarence Ditlow, Executive Director
Center for Auto Safety
Before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) On Fiat Chrysler Recall Performance
July 2, 2015
Mr. Administrator and NHTSA staff, thank you for holding this hearing on Fiat Chrysler’s dismal recall performance. When it comes to recalls, Fiat Chrysler is an outlaw. Fiat Chrysler conceals defects in order to avoid recalls. When forced to recall, Fiat Chrysler delays repairs for years and even refuses to do repairs.
Take recalls 14V-438 on 2006-07 Jeep Commanders and 2005-07 Grand Cherokees and 14V-373 on 2008-10 Chrysler Town & Country, Grand Caravan and 2009-10 Journey for ignition switches that can get knocked out of the run position just like the now infamous Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion. One year after the recalls were announced, not a single vehicle has been repaired. Fiat Chrysler treats the 60-day interim Part 577 owner notification as a get- out-of-jail free card which can put the actual recall on hold forever.
Fiat Chrysler does poorly compared to other manufacturers when doing a recall for the same defect. On November 7, 2012, Chrysler filed a part 573 defect report due to inadvertent airbag deployments (Recall 12V-527). Involved were approximately 337,000 2002-03 Liberty and 408,000 2002-04 Grand Cherokees. On January 30, 2013, Toyota filed a part 573 defect report (13V-029) for inadvertent airbag deployments related to the same TRW component involved in the Jeep recalls. Involved were approximately 888,000 2003-04, Corolla, Corolla Matrix, and Pontiac Vibes. By the end of September 2013, Toyota had repaired 235,000 of the vehicles involved in its campaign. Chrysler, on the other hand, had only repaired 6,300 of the 745,000 vehicles recalled. According to the most recent recall completion report, only 205,000 of the 745,000 Jeeps have been remedied as of the first quarter of 2015.

Read the full Center for Auto Safety Comment on Fiat Chrysler Public Hearing.