See update below with official BMW statement
BMW of North America has agreed to pay a $3 million fine to settle U.S. government allegations that it failed to promptly notify regulators about potential safety defects.
NTHSA says that BMW agreed to the civil penalty caused by 16 recall investigations in 2010.
The investigation found a number of instances where the automaker failed to report known safety defects and recalls within five days, as is required by federal law. BMW also agreed to make internal changes to their recall process to ensure timely reporting.
BMWNA Official Statement
The US Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires manufacturers to notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) within five business days of a safety defect being identified internally by a company. The NHTSA conducted a review of safety recalls filed by the BMW Group in calendar year 2010 and claimed that in some cases the company had exceeded the five-day notification limit. All cases, except for one, were related to BMW Motorcycles. However, despite the late filing, in every case where a defect was identified by the company a voluntary recall had been conducted.
BMW has agreed to pay the NHTSA a penalty of $3 million and modify its processes to prevent a reoccurrence.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that BMW of North America, LLC has agreed to pay $3 million in civil penalties in response to the agency’s assertion that the automaker failed to comply with requirements of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act that it report safety defects and noncompliances to the federal government in a timely manner.
“It’s critical to the safety of the driving public that defects and recalls are reported in short order,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “NHTSA expects all manufacturers to address automotive safety issues quickly and in a forthright manner.”
Federal law requires all auto manufacturers to notify NHTSA within five business days of determining that a safety defect or noncompliance exists and to promptly conduct a recall. NHTSA’s examination of 16 BMW recalls issued in 2010 found evidence of a number of instances where the automaker failed to report safety defects and recalls to the agency in accordance with federal law. As part of today’s settlement, BMW of North America, LLC and its parent company Bayerische Motoren Werke AG agreed to make internal changes to its recall decision-making process to ensure timely reporting to consumers and the federal government in the future.
In December 2010, NHTSA launched an investigation to determine when BMW first learned of defects and noncompliances related to several motorcycle and vehicle recalls and whether the company notified NHTSA in a timely manner. NHTSA’s investigation led the agency to believe that BMW had not fulfilled its obligation to report a known safety defect within five days, as is required under the law. The fines will be paid into the Treasury Department’s General Fund.[Source: AutoNews ]