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