Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is buying back some defective vehicles, giving $1,000 credits and handing out $100 gift cards to get more owners to come in for repairs after U.S. regulators said the company delayed previous safety efforts.
In unveiling details of previously announced recalls, the company said Chrysler, Dodge and Ram owners can opt to have the company repurchase their vehicle, according to a statement on Monday. Those recalls cover the 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango, as well as certain models of Ram 1500, 2500, 3500 and 4500 pickups from the 2008 through 2012 model years.
“Remedies are available, we are servicing vehicles and we encourage affected customers to contact their dealers,” said Scott Kunselman, Fiat Chrysler’s senior vice president – vehicle safety and regulatory compliance. “It is imperative that all vehicles implicated by recalls are inspected and serviced, as required.”
In July, Fiat Chrysler agreed to pay a record $105 million penalty and take steps following a government investigation of the company’s handling of 23 recalls involving more than 11 million cars and trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demanded that consumers be able to sell their vehicles back to the company if repairs haven’t been completed.
The pickups have defective suspension parts that can cause loss of control, according to regulators. Fiat Chrysler has estimated that more than 60 percent of the estimated 500,000 vehicles have already been repaired, leaving them ineligible for a buy back.
Owners of the 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty who hadn’t taken their SUVs in for recall repairs for a faulty gas tank by July 24 are eligible for a $1,000 credit that can be applied toward the purchase of a new Fiat Chrysler car or truck at a dealership. Owners who want to keep their vehicles get a $100 prepaid credit card after their repairs are complete.
Pickup owners can also get $100 gift cards if they complete the recall repairs.
As part of the agreement with the government, Fiat Chrysler agreed to hire an independent monitor to ensure it will no longer delay safety recalls.
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