Fiat Chrysler discloses buyback details – The Detroit News
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Monday unveiled details of its buyback and incentive program for some recalls as part of its record-setting $105 million settlement with federal regulators.
The new details include trade-in incentives of up to $2,000 on some models. Owners will be able to learn as early as Tuesday the estimated amount of buyback offers.
Fiat Chrysler also disclosed as part of a consent order with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it has hired Deloitte to conduct a comprehensive review and evaluation of the company’s procedures for compliance with NHTSA regulations.
A monitor will be selected later to oversee the company’s compliance with the three-year agreement that came after NHTSA raised questions about its handling of 23 recall campaigns covering more than 11 million vehicles.
FCA US said it has begun contacting customers about the incentives, which range from $100 prepaid cards to vehicle-repurchase plans.
The incentives are designed to “boost completion rates for certain ongoing recalls involving older SUVs and model-year 2009-2012 trucks, for which remedies were not immediately available,” the company said. The Italian-American automaker had said last month that it had already repaired 70 percent of about 578,000 eligible trucks and SUVs, leaving 175,000 that could be bought back.
“Remedies are available, we are servicing vehicles, and we encourage affected customers to contact their dealers,” said Scott Kunselman, FCA’s senior vice president-vehicle safety and regulatory compliance. “It is imperative that all vehicles implicated by recalls are inspected and serviced, as required.”
The buyback offer covers unrepaired:
■2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUVs
■2009-12 Dodge Ram/Ram 1500 pickups
■2009-11 Dodge Dakota pickups
■2008 Dodge Ram/Ram Mega Cab 4×4 pickups
■2008-12 Dodge Ram/Ram 2500 and 3500 4×4 trucks
■2008-12 Dodge Ram/Ram 2500 4×2 Cab Chassis trucks
■2008-12 Dodge Ram/Ram 4500 and 5500 trucks
On the SUVs and pickups, a problem with the rear axle pinion nut can cause the axle to lock up. The large trucks have tie-rod assembly steering problems. Fiat Chrysler said all of the eligible owners have been sent letters.
Owner of eligible vehicles from the list have three options:
■They can receive a $100 Visa prepaid card for getting repairs done. Money on the card can be spent anywhere.
■They can opt to negotiate trade-ins on new vehicles. To take advantage of the trade-in offer, a customer and dealer establish a value for the trade-in vehicle, complete the purchase of a new vehicle and receive — in addition to all current applicable incentives — a $2,000 incentive on a Ram-brand vehicle, or $1,000 on a Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge or Fiat vehicle. The trade-in program that expires Jan. 4.
■They can opt for a repurchase plan that, like the prepaid card incentives, has no expiration date. To participate in the repurchase program, customers are instructed to visit www.fcarecall.com beginning Tuesday. There they will see a preliminary estimated value of their vehicles, according to “good” market value, plus 10 percent.
Beginning Oct. 1, owners may contact dealers to arrange for vehicle inspections. Dealers will then call a third-party administrator to complete the inspection and present a final offer to customers, who then can get $100 for getting repairs, accept the trade-in incentive or accept the buyback offer. Fiat Chrysler is allowed to resell the vehicles under the buyback.
“We are committed to further improving our recall completion rates,” Kunselman says. “The added benefit of our efforts, we hope, will be to elevate public awareness of the need to respond to recall notices, and a greater understanding of the recall process.
Fiat Chrysler also is offering $100 gift cards to get trailer hitch assemblies installed in older Jeep SUVs to reduce the risk of gas tank fires in rear crashes.
The $100 offer applies to owners of 1993-98 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Jeep Liberty SUVs that were not fixed or inspected as of July 24.
Owners of the affected Grand Cherokees may choose one of two options: Receive a $100 Visa Prepaid Card for unrestricted use upon completion of recall-related service. (Customers who had recalls completed since July 24 also are entitled to receive the prepaid card.) Or owners can trade in the vehicle and receive a $1,000 incentive toward the purchase of a new vehicle, or a $1,000 Visa prepaid card usable for parts or service at the FCA US dealership accepting the trade-in.
Owners of the covered Libertys will, on completion of repairs or inspection, receive a $100 Visa card.