Fiat-Chrysler forced to buy-back 500,000 Dodge Ram pickups - WNEM TV 5

Fiat-Chrysler forced to buy-back 500,000 Dodge Ram pickups

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SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Lamar Simon understands that cars and trucks may have issues once you drive them off the lot.

"They got human people making those parts. There will always be a problem. As long as they're trying to fix it."

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Fiat-Chrysler didn't do enough to get unsafe vehicles off the roads.

Now, the automaker has to buy-back half a million Dodge Ram pickups with steering defects.

"[They] let it slide a little too long. Now they’re finally try to do something," said Abby Polzin.

Drivers like Polzin are concerned that automakers don't seem to take safety issues more seriously.

But she says the $105 million fine Fiat-Chrysler now has to pay may force the automakers to put more value on making sure their vehicles perform the way they should.

"Putting other people at risk is really terrible," Polzin said.

The NHTSA stated concerns about slow completion rates on recalls, delayed notifications to customers, even improper actions by dealers. The manager here at Garber Chrysler Dodge in Saginaw Township, Mike Wenglikowski, said while this is something he'd rather not be dealing with, they'll do whatever needed to make sure customers feel safe in their vehicles.

"Our focus is our community, our people, make sure they're safe," Wenglikowski said.

Wenglikowski said he wasn't warned beforehand about the agreement, but he said workers at Garber will repair vehicles that need to be fixed and comply with regulators orders.

“There's going to be some sort of help in processes and things like that, waiting on instructions, most people know about as much as we do," Wenglikowski said.

Wenglikowski says the next few months will be busy but they're in it for the long haul.

"Garber's been around 105 years. We’ve been around a long time in the Saginaw community taking care of our customers and that's not going to change," Wenglikowski said.

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