BMW hit with $40M fine for recall violations

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

BMW hit with $40 million U.S. penalty for safety lapses.

The fine is the second paid by BMW since 2012 and the latest in a series of civil penalties imposed on major auto makers by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). DETROIT — German automaker BMW is facing a $40 million penalty from U.S. safety regulators for moving too slowly to fix Mini brand cars that didn’t pass federal crash tests. Under the settlement, BMW admitted it did not comply with minimum crash protection standards, failed to notify owners of recalls in a timely fashion and failed to provide accurate information about its recalls to NHTSA. The settlement ends a NHTSA investigation into whether the company failed to issue a recall within five days of learning that its 2014 and 2015 Mini Cooper models failed to meet regulatory minimums for side-impact crash protection. The penalties revealed Monday stem from the company’s failure to tell vehicle owners promptly of recalls and from its failure to fix a version of the Mini Cooper that failed a side-impact crash test.

Pursuant to the Consent Order, BMW NA has agreed to make a $10 million cash payment to NHTSA and to spend $10 million on enhancing internal processes and technologies to more rapidly detect emerging safety-related issues and developing increased measures to maximize recall completion rates. NHTSA will also impose an independent safety consultant to recommend changes to the automaker’s recall compliance practices and monitor the company’s performance for two years. “NHTSA has discovered multiple instances in which BMW failed its obligations to its customers, to the public and to safety,” U.S. The agency has required a number of auto makers to agree to independent monitors or retain outside consultants to improve safety procedures as part of settlements.

NHTSA has penalized General Motors and Fiat Chrysler over the last two years for their own failures to fix vehicles expeditiously and notify safety officials promptly of defects. The agency ordered BMW to create a plan to deter dealers from selling unrepaired, recalled vehicles after an agency investigator was able to buy a new vehicle that had been recalled but not fixed, a violation of U.S. law. The auto maker also paid $70 million in July to resolve allegations it mishandled nearly two dozen recall campaigns covering more than 11 million vehicles. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.

BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes.

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