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Chrysler, Other Automakers Could Be Swept Up in Emissions Cheating Scandal

Daimler, BMW insist they didn’t rig diesel tests.

by on Sep.25, 2015

The tainted VW diesel was used by other manufacturers for such models as this Dodge Avenger.

© 2015

German authorities now say 2.8 million Volkswagen diesel vehicles sold in that country “are affected” by the maker’s rigging of emissions tests. But VW may not be the only maker implicated. The suspect turbodiesel engine used by Volkswagen apparently also was sold to several other manufacturers, including Chrysler and Mitsubishi for use in some of their European models.

Regulators there and in the U.S. are planning to expand random testing to include not just VW models but diesel vehicles sold by other manufacturers. Several reports from Europe indicate that some Daimler AG and BMW models might also exceed emissions standards, though it is unclear if that implies any intentional efforts to game the testing process.

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For their part, the two makers insist they have followed the letter of the law, both in Europe and in other markets including the United States.


FCA and UAW Extend Talks on an Hourly Basis

Signs of optimism despite missed deadline.

by on Sep.15, 2015

FCA's Sergio Marchionne and UAW's Dennis Williams shared a laugh during the opening of contract talks earlier this summer.

The United Auto Workers and FCA U.S. fell short in their bid to reach a new labor contract as the old pact expired at midnight on Monday night, but the two sides agreed to an “hour by hour” extension, which suggested negotiators believed they were relatively close to reaching a tentative four-year agreement.

Sergio Marchionne, the Fiat Automobiles NV. chief executive officer, was in Auburn Hills   as the deadline approached, rather than in Germany for the influential Frankfurt Auto Show. Besides skipping Fiat Chrysler’s various product introductions, Marchionne had been scheduled to meet with investors and analyst as part of the ongoing   effort to bolster the company’s image and stock price.

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The FCA CEO said he would have had a chance to promote his new pet project – a merger with General Motors.


Chrysler Recalling 1.5 Mil Trucks to Fix Airbag Problem

Short-circuit could cause bags to inflate without a crash.

by on Sep.10, 2015

Ram's popular 1500 is one of the pickups targeted by two new airbag recalls.

Fiat Chrysler is recalling over 1.5 million pickup trucks to fix a series of airbag problems, including one that could cause the vehicles’ side-impact airbags to inflate inadvertently even when there’s been no crash.

The announcement comes amidst of a rash of airbag-related recalls. But the problems involving Ram pickups are unrelated to the recalls that have so far targeted around 23 million vehicles using potentially deadly Takata airbag inflators. The biggest of two new FCA recalls is related to a wiring defect in various Ram pickup models.

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Fiat Chrysler says its investigators discovered that, in some trucks, wires in the steering wheel may rub against a spring and eventually short-circuit, causing a vehicle’s side-impact airbag to inflate without a crash.


Consumers Increasingly Frustrated, Dissatisfied by Recalls

Satisfaction levels falls to lowest level in over a decade.

by on Aug.25, 2015

More and more Americans are finding automotive recall notices in their mailboxes.

Have you received a recall for your car, truck or crossover? Maybe several? If so, chances are you’re growing frustrated and dissatisfied as a result.

A new study finds that, despite an overall increase in quality, the epidemic of recalls that reached an all-time record of 64 million vehicles last year has left Americans less happy with the cars and trucks they drive than at any time in more than a decade. And with the spate of new recalls showing little sign of slowing, the situation isn’t likely to improve anytime soon.

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“While it is true that all cars are now much better than they were 10 to 20 years ago, it is alarming that so many of them have quality problems,” said Claes Fornell, chairman and found of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.


Rental Car Act Named for Two Sisters Killed in Crash Passes Senate

House delays vote until after recess.

by on Jul.31, 2015

The Houck sisters were killed instantly when their vehicle spun out of control and hit a truck head-on.

With Washington lawmakers set to go home for their summer recess, family and friends of two sisters killed in a 2004 rental car crash received at least one bit of good news.

The Senate passed a 6-year highway bill on Thursday that includes the terms of the long-delayed Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act. The House won’t deal with the measure until lawmakers return to the capital in September. But if they also approve the measure it would ensure that rental car companies can no longer keep cars in operation that are subject to recall until the necessary fixes are made.

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The two California sisters were killed in a crash of a Chrysler PT Cruiser they’d gotten from Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Initially, the company attempted to blame 24-year-old Raechel, who was driving, going so far as to say she might have been “suicidal or on drugs.” But a jury later disagreed,


Chrysler Will Buy Back – Then Resell — Vehicles Under Consent Order

Agreement actually could drive increased FCA sales.

by on Jul.27, 2015

About 193,000 of the Dodge, Chrysler and Ram trucks may be eligible for buyback.

As part of the consent order Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has reached with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the maker will pay a record $105 million in fines and penalties – while also taking hundreds of thousands of recalled vehicles off the road.

In some cases, however, that may only be temporary. has learned that the trans-Atlantic automaker intends to repair some of those vehicles and then resell them to the public. That could affect as many as 193,000 pickup trucks and SUVs, according to documents FCA has filed with NHTSA.

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“If we repurchase them we will resell them after performing the necessary service,” spokesman Eric Mayne told, noting that was a step approved by federal regulators as part of the extensive consent order.


Fiat Chrysler Hit with Record $105 Mil Fine Over Mishandled Recalls

Maker also will offer buybacks and trade-in discounts.

by on Jul.27, 2015

A fire involving a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The consent order calls for FCA to speed up the recall of over 1.5 million Jeeps.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has agreed to pay a record $105 million in fines due to a series of mishandled recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Sunday evening. The largest fine ever levied again an automaker, the consent order will also see FCA buy back more 500,000 vehicles due to suspension defects.

The settlement follows what has been described as an “unprecedented” hearing by federal regulators examining allegations that FCA failed to follow federal safety guidelines in 23 separate recalls. In an appearance in Detroit last Monday, NHTSA chief Mark Rosekind warned that the agency may yet examine how FCA handled other safety problems.

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“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,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.


Feds Slam Fiat Chrysler for Lax Safety Efforts

FCA “has not remedied vehicles in a reasonable time,” claims NHTSA.

by on Jun.19, 2015

A fire involving a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The recall for a potential safety problem has gone slowly.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been dragging its feet when it comes to safety problems, or so claims the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a new document released ahead of a public hearing on the issue.

The statement by federal regulators follows admissions by the automaker that it has been slow to handle repairs to vehicles covered by a recall linked to numerous vehicle fires. And it appears to be part of a broader crackdown on automotive safety in the wake of record recalls that saw more than 60 million vehicles impacted due to defects last year.

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“NHTSA has tentatively concluded that Fiat Chrysler has not remedied vehicles in a reasonable time and has not adequately remedied vehicles,” the NHTSA said in a document posted on its website ahead of a hearing to determine whether FCA met federal rules on properly reporting defects and then making repairs.


Chrysler Ordered to Pay $150M due to Jeep Fire

Automaker plans to appeal verdict.

by on Apr.03, 2015

Despite testimony by CEO Sergio Marchionne saying the Jeep's rear-mounted fuel tank is safe, jurors awarded a $150 million to a Georgia family.

A Georgia jury on Thursday awarded $150 million to the family of a boy who burned to death in a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee after a rear-end collision, finding Fiat Chrysler LLC’s rear-positioned fuel tank in the Jeep posed a fire risk and killed the child.

The Decatur County, Georgia, jury reached the verdict just hours after closing arguments concluded the eight-day trial, granting the family’s request for $120 million for the full value of 4-year-old Remington Walden’s life. Jurors found that Fiat Chrysler knew of the potential danger and the jury said Chrysler, the maker of Jeeps, must pay.

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The jury ruled that Chrysler acted with reckless disregard for human life in selling the family of Remington “Remi” Walden a 1999 Jeep with a gas tank mounted behind the rear axle. (more…)

Chrysler Pulling Out of UK

American side of FCA to focus on Jeep brand.

by on Mar.19, 2015

FCA is pulling the Chrysler brand, which basically entails the Ypsilon at this point, from the U.K.

FCA is giving the axe to the Chrysler brand – in the U.K., that is. It plans to pull the iconic brand out of the British market by 2017 due to steadily dwindling sales.

Instead, the Euro-American automaker plans to put the focus on its other brands, most notably Jeep, which has been scoring big sales gains around the world the last several years.

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The Chrysler brand spent years struggling to build a presence outside of the American home market, largely without success. Sales dwindled to 1,982 in the U.K. last year, down 21% from the year before, and barely half the 3,500 vehicles Chrysler sold there in 2012, according to the trade group, the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders. (more…)