WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. auto safety regulators were considering a record $105 million fine for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV over recall lapses involving millions of vehicles, according to people familiar with the matter.
Under a settlement expected to be announced this week, the automaker would also have to repurchase some recalled vehicles but could recoup some of the penalties by meeting certain conditions, the sources said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal government’s auto safety watchdog agency, was also expected to assign the Italian-U.S. car company an independent monitor to audit its recall processes for an extended period.
Fiat Chrysler declined to comment. The potential fine was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The $105 million sum suggests that Fiat Chrysler reached a maximum $35 million penalty cap in three different areas, according to one source.
In early July, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said the agency would move quickly to take action in response to Fiat Chrysler’s handling of recalls involving up to 11 million vehicles.
Among them are nearly 1.6 million Jeep vehicles recalled in 2013 because of fuel tanks that could rupture and cause a fire.
The automaker risked more than $700 million in fines.
On Friday, Fiat Chrysler announced it would recall 1.4 million vehicles in the United States to install software to prevent hackers from gaining remote control of the engine, steering and other systems.
Those vehicles are not included in the settlement, the sources said.