Fiat Chrysler sued in Canada following recent vehicle recalls

Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:51pm EDT
 
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, July 29 (Reuters) - A Canadian law firm said it filed a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Wednesday seeking about $4 billion in damages, in connection with the massive recall announced by the automaker earlier in July.

Merchant Law Group said the lawsuit, which seeks class action status, was filed in the Superior Court in Montreal. It said it plans to file claims later this week in courts in Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.

A Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman said the company has not yet been served with the lawsuit and that it would be inappropriate to comment until it had studied the allegations in the action.

Milan-listed shares in Fiat Chrysler fell sharply on Monday. The stock itself was briefly suspended from trading due to worries about the impact of several recall actions in the United States announced in recent days.

The company said on Friday it would recall 1.4 million vehicles in the United States to install software to prevent hackers from gaining remote control of their engines.

The U.S. auto safety watchdog, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on Sunday slapped a record $105 million fine against Fiat Chrysler over lapses in safety recalls involving millions of vehicles.

The company has so far not duplicated the entire U.S. vehicle recall in Canada, but automakers typically do end up replicating any such recalls in the Canadian market.

Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt told the CBC earlier this week that she had been blindsided by Fiat Chrysler's U.S. recall and added that her department was looking into the matter. (Editing by Jonathan Oatis)