The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of failing to properly report death and injury reports.
“Preliminary information suggests that this under-reporting is the result of a number of problems” with Fiat Chrysler’s early warning report systems, Rosekind said.
In July, Fiat Chrysler agreed to pay a record $105 million to settle charges by NHTSA that it had mishandled 23 separate recalls.
It also comes as the auto industry reels from a series of scandals which have raised questions about the safety and reliability of vehicles.
About 9.8 million shares of Fiat Chrysler were traded by 3:10 p.m. Tuesday, above the company’s average trading volume of about 5.4 million shares a day.
FCA was notified in late July of the “significant” discrepancy by NHTSA, after which the automaker began its own investigation leading to the discovery of under reporting.
Earlier this year, Fiat was fined $105M by the NHTSA in a negotiated settlement over mishandling recalls.
“This represents a significant failure to meet a manufacturer’s safety responsibilities”, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said. The law requires automakers to tell NHTSA about crashes, injuries, or safety defects in its cars to help ensure automakers don’t cover-up potential problems that could lead to a recall.
Volkswagen has announced plans to refit up to 11 million vehicles and overhaul its namesake brand following the scandal over its rigging of emissions tests revealed last week.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen could face billions of dollars in fines for having fitted a few of its diesel cars with software capable of tricking environmental tests.
FCA blamed the oversight on the “heightened scrutiny of its regulatory reporting obligations growing out of its recent consent order with NHTSA”, and that it “is in regular communication with NHTSA about its progress in the investigation”.
Manipulating emissions results allowed Volkswagen to keep down engine costs in a “clean diesel” strategy that was popular in Europe and at the heart of a drive to improve USA results.