For 570,000 Fiat Chrysler SUV owners, this Christmas didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. On Thursday, the automaker recalled over half a million of its vehicles citing concerns with vanity mirror wiring and a low-pressure hose that could pose a fire risk.
The announcement, made Christmas Eve, is the latest in a running series of bad publicity for the Italian-American company. Earlier in December, it was forced to pay some $70 million in fines after neglecting to report deaths and injuries resulting from vehicle crashes since 2003.
Affected by the recall are 477,000 2011 to 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs, as well as 93,000 2015 Jeep Compass and Patriot SUVs. If drivers do not bring their cars in for an inspection and potential part replacement, Fiat says vehicles may be “susceptible to a short-circuit, creating a potential fire hazard.”
This is the second time some of these SUVs have been brought in for a recall. In 2014, the car maker recalled around 651,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos made between 2011 and 2014 in the U.S., again for a wiring problem. But apparently, this first fix proved insufficient, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found eight complaints from owners who still reported fires following the supposed repairs.
This year alone, Fiat has been forced to make 40 recalls, totaling some 12 million cars in the U.S., which is (needless to say), a record for the company. Back in July, the automaker acquiesced to a whopping $105 million settlement for the improper handling of almost 24 recall campaigns that affected 11 million of their vehicles.
Luckily, spokesman Eric Mayne said in a statement that Fiat is as of yet “unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the new recall.” So here’s to a better 2016 for Fiat Chrysler. Because to be honest, we’re not sure it could get any worse than 2015.
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