The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced Volvo has agreed to pay $1.5 million in civil penalties. The Swedish automaker has been fined because it didn’t report safety defects to the federal government efficiently enough.
Under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, all auto manufacturers have five business days to notify the NHTSA that a safety defect exists, or the manufacturer is not in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards. After evaluating seven recalls (six in 2010, one in 2012) as part of an investigation opened in January 2011, the NHTSA found evidence that led it to believe Volvo didn't report known safety defects within the five-day window.
Volvo has agreed to pay the $1.5 million and plans to make its recall decision-making process more efficient.
"After several conversations with NHTSA about its reporting rules, Volvo Car Corp. has taken steps to improve the review process and analysis of potential quality and safety issues with our vehicles,” the automaker said in a statement. “We are in agreement with NHTSA's objective to communicate with the agency and consumers in a timely manner. It's important to note that, in each of the subject cases, a voluntary recall had been conducted and no injuries, fatalities or property damage claims were reported. … We apologize for this delay and will continue to uphold this deep-rooted value and work in a manner that maintains the public's trust."
The fines will be paid into the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury.
Source: NHTSA, Volvo