DETROIT Aug 12 Chrysler Group LLC on Tuesday
announced the establishment of a new office called "vehicle
safety and regulatory compliance" led by a veteran company
senior vice president, Scott Kunselman.
The move comes as U.S. automakers are under increased
scrutiny over safety issues, and after Chrysler's cross-town
rival, General Motors Co, established a similar office
earlier this year.
"This action will help intensify the company's continuing
commitment to vehicle safety and regulatory compliance,"
Chrysler said in a statement.
Chrysler is fully owned by Fiat.
So far this year, Chrysler has recalled about 3.2 million
vehicles in the United States, while GM has recalled about 25.8
Prior to the establishment of the new safety office,
Chrysler's engineering group was responsible for vehicle safety
and regulatory compliance.
"Effective immediately, this function will be served by a
stand-alone organization," with Kunselman reporting directly to
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler said in its statement,
as part of the company's North American executive team.
Kunselman has previously been senior vice president in
charge of Chrysler's North American purchasing and supplier
quality. Prior to that, he headed the company's engineering
division, which handled safety and regulatory issues.
In March, GM named a 40-year company veteran, Jeff Boyer,
who had been its director of engineering operations, as its new
vehicle safety chief in the wake of a series of ignition switch
recalls. Boyer reports to GM's chief executive officer, Mary
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Paul Simao)