NHTSA: Sets July 2 public hearing for Fiat Chrysler recalls

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The Department of Transportation announced Monday that its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will hold a public hearing to determine whether automaker Fiat Chrysler failed to fix safety defects required in 20 recalls. (Tweet this)

The hearing is set for July 2. It will be open to the public who will be allowed to present evidence on the automaker's performance in each recall. If the NHTSA finds that the company has failed its obligations under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the agency could order actions, including the buy-back or replacement of affected cars.

"Any auto defect that compromises the safety of our driving public is unacceptable," said U.S. transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a press release. "Auto manufacturers are obligated to effectively remedy safety defects when they are discovered, and if they fail in that responsibility,we are obligated to act."

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The NHTSA also issued a special order to the company to provide information on its recall performance.

The agency reports that in recent months it has expressed concerns over the pace of defect fixes during Fiat Chrysler recalls. It also said it has received consumer complaints about a shortage in parts and difficulty getting service appointments.

"It is not enough to identify defects. Manufacturers have to fix them," NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said. "Significant questions have been raised as to whether this company is meeting its obligations to protect the drivers from safety defects, and today we are launching a process to ensure that those obligations are met."