Chrysler must offer to buy back over 500,000 Ram pickup trucks and other vehicles, according to the NHTSA. This is the biggest action of its type in U.S. history. In addition to the buyback, the automaker must pay up to $105 million in fines. Owners of more than one million older Jeeps with rear-mounted gas tanks are also able to trade them in, or be paid by Chrysler to have the vehicles repaired.
This deal is a step in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s effort to fix some safety issues, after it has faced criticism over some safety recalls. The Ram trucks have defective steering parts that can cause drivers to lose control. The NHTSA attempted other repairs with the trucks, which have been unsuccessful, so Chrysler agreed to the recall. Owners can also get the Ram trucks repaired if they wish to keep them.
The older Jeeps have fuel tanks that are located behind the rear axle, which can rupture in a rear-end crash. This can cause the tanks to spill gas, which can cause fires. At least 75 people have died in crash-related fires.
This buyback has been the largest ever ordered in NHTSA history. Under the agreement, Chrysler has to buy the trucks back for the purchase price, minus depreciation. It’s currently unclear exactly how many trucks will have to be repurchased. It’s estimated that Chrysler could be required to spend $2.5 billion on the Ram trucks alone.
It’s encouraging that the NHTSA has been more proactive in issuing large recalls and ordering that steps be taken such as buybacks. Consumer safety may finally be a priority for the agency. If you have been injured because of a defective vehicle, you have the legal right to compensation. Call the Houston automobile accident attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707. We will provide you with a free consultation on your case. You can also reach out to us on Facebook.