Already under fire for its slow response to various safety problems, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles now faces hefty fines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which accused the maker of misleading federal safety regulators.
FCA officials came in for sharp criticism during a hearing in Washington on Thursday, NHTSA officials accusing the maker of repeatedly keeping it “in the dark” about safety problems. The unprecedented session was called to examine Fiat Chrysler’s handling of 23 separate recalls covering 11 million vehicles.
“What you heard here is there’s a pattern that’s been going on for some time, frankly,” said Mark Rosekind, the new Administrator for NHTSA. The agency has taken heat for some of its own lapses in recent weeks, and Rosekind has promised to both fix those problems and crack down on the industry.