Fiat Chrysler May Be Forced To Buy Back Thousands Of Defective Pickups, Jeeps Over Mishandled Recalls

CBS San Francisco

DETROIT (CBS/AP) — Fiat Chrysler could be required to lay out hundreds of millions of dollars to get potentially defective Ram pickups and older Jeeps off the road under a deal with safety regulators to settle claims that the automaker mishandled nearly two dozen recalls.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is requiring the company to offer to buy back certain Ram pickup trucks and Dodge and Chrysler SUVs with defective steering parts that can cause drivers to lose control. More than 579,000 vehicles were initially recalled in 2013, but the company would only be required to buy back a third of those because many of the pickups have already been repaired.

The Italian-American automaker must also allow owners of more than a million older Jeeps with vulnerable rear-mounted gas tanks to trade them in at above market value or give them $100 as an incentive to get a repair…

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