Manufacturing Minute: Record Auto Recall Fine

Also in this episode, the cities driving industrial growth and an electric flying car.

In this episode, the cities driving industrial growth, an electric flying car and a record recall fine.

Mfg. Comeback

America has been hard at work regaining the manufacturing jobs lost during the recent recession. Forbes released a list of the top U.S. cities driving industrial growth and leading the nation’s manufacturing renaissance.

Michigan, the state hit hardest by the industrial decline, accounts for the top three cities on the list and has managed to regain about 40 percent of the manufacturing jobs lost in the recession.

The Rust Belt isn’t the only region experiencing a major revival — America’s Southeast is another hub of skilled workers, foreign investments and massive manufacturing employment. Check out the full list at Forbes’ website.

Taking Flight

Although the idea of a flying car sounds more like science fiction, automaker Terrafugia is turning this fantasy into reality.  The company’s TF-X is a four-seat flying electric car that looks like a sedan but with pods on each side that hold 600 hp engines with folding propellers. These allow this “off-road” vehicle to reach an estimated speed of 200 mph.

Still in development, the manufacturer says the autoplane likely won’t be hitting the market until 2021, bring us one step closer to the overhead traffic jams of tomorrow.

Record Automaker Fine

Federal authorities imposed a record $105 million fine on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after the automaker failed to complete 23 recalls involving more than 11 million vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler will also be required to buy back up to half a million vehicles with defective suspensions, while more than a million Jeeps with fire-prone gas tanks can be traded in for a price above market value or repaired at FCA’s expense.

Also part of the settlement, Fiat Chrysler has agreed to "submit to rigorous federal oversight" for three years and to hire an independent monitor.

So What Do You Think?

This settlement really indicates that the NHTSA is taking a more aggressive approach toward companies that fail to disclose defects or don't properly conduct a recall.

Earlier this year, the NHTSA fined Honda $70 million for failing to report accidents and safety issues while GM got hit with a $35 million fine for its 10 year delay on reporting the infamous faulty ignition switches. 

Do you think fines will get automakers to pay greater attention to quality and safety issues? Or are companies just playing the odds and hoping for the best when it comes to recalls?

Email us or leave your comments below.

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