On Dec. 15, Chrysler Group LLC became the first automaker to establish a corporate policy surrounding company-owned vehicles and communication devices. The company now prohibits texting while driving in order to promote safer driving behaviors and serve as an industry example. The new policy applies to texting while driving company-owned vehicles and texting with company-provided communication devices while driving personal vehicles.

"The Chrysler Group values the safety and well-being of employees, customers and communities," said Nancy Rae, executive vice president - Human Resources, Chrysler Group LLC. "As an automaker, we expect higher driving standards from our work force and business partners as we design products and technology that bring greater levels of safety to our customers and their families."

The company's new "texting while driving" policy will take effect immediately.

"A driver's primary responsibility is to be in control of their vehicle; texting while driving clearly interferes with that responsibility," said Steve Bartoli, head of Regulatory Affairs. "Chrysler Group LLC supports initiatives to ban this activity. Additionally, we stand with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers supporting a ban on hand-held cell phone operation while driving."

The company earned a leadership role as the first North American automaker to offer the hands-free, voice-activated uconnect® system with Bluetooth technology. The feature, available on most Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and Ram vehicles, provides voice-controlled wireless communication between the occupants' compatible mobile phones and the vehicle's onboard receiver. Uconnect can manage onboard phone-book entries, select radio stations, access the navigation system and retrieve voice mail. The hands-free option promotes safety, freedom, value and flexibility.

Chrysler Group continues to pioneer the integration of personal electronics in the automobile. Recently, the Chrysler Group announced it will offer text-to-voice/message reader technology in select 2011 model year Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles.