July 26, 2015 / 10:59 AM / in 2 years

U.S. regulators impose record $105 million fine on Fiat Chrysler

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee are exhibited on a car dealership in New Jersey, July 24, 2015. Fiat Chrysler will 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 in what federal officials said was the first such action of its kind. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. auto safety watchdog, toughening its stance against manufacturer defects, on Sunday fined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCHA.MI) a record $105 million over lapses in safety recalls involving millions of vehicles, according to documents obtained by Reuters.

Under a consent agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fiat Chrysler agreed to give the owners of 1.5 million vehicles the option of selling their vehicles back to the manufacturer. Included were 1 million Jeep sport utility vehicles with fuel tanks that can leak and catch fire in rear-end collisions.

According to the consent agreement, Fiat Chrysler also agreed to allow an independent monitor to audit its recall performance for three years.

The agreement also requires Fiat Chrysler to spend at least $20 million to meet performance requirements and another $15 million if the monitor discovers additional violations.

Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Grant McCool and Paul Simao

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