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Fiat Chrysler to remain under federal scrutiny for a little while longer

Bear in mind, this only relates to the company's safety issues. The sales brouhaha is a whole 'nother can of worms.


Don't think of it as punishment. Think of it as a method of ensuring things continue to go smoothly.

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In the middle of last year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles settled with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for $105 million, because the company had allegedly mismanaged more than a dozen recall campaigns. Now that a year has passed, NHTSA has announced that it will continue to monitor FCA for another year.

This monitoring will consist of "monthly meetings and early disclosures of potential vehicle issues," Reuters reports. This is similar to what NHTSA has in place with GM, which had its own monitoring extended by a year last May. NHTSA points out that this extension is not because FCA is still mishandling recalls, but rather to ensure that communication stays constant.

It's not like the company hasn't done things deserving of additional scrutiny. Last December, FCA was hit with a $70 million fine for not complying with a law that requires automakers to disclose death and injury reports. It's also still working on a software fix for its vehicles equipped with a special kind of shifter, which Reuters notes was the kind of vehicle involved in "Star Trek" actor Anton Yelchin's death.

"FCA US LLC agrees that the monthly meetings, and the information provided in connection with those meetings, have been very effective and productive in facilitating timely and open communication between the Company and the Agency relating to potential defect issues," the company said in a statement. "We are intent on continuing to build our relationship with NHTSA as we embrace our leadership role in the industry as a public safety advocate."

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