US fines BMW US$40 mil. for recall violations


NEW YORK–German auto giant BMW was fined US$40 million for not conducting a timely recall on vehicles that failed crash tests, U.S. auto safety regulators announced Monday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that the carmaker acknowledged it had violated U.S. recall standards with respect to the Mini 2 Door Hardtop Cooper, which failed crash tests in 2014 and 2015. NHTSA fined BMW US$3 million in 2012 for similar recall violations.

“The requirement to launch recalls and inform consumers in a timely fashion when a safety defect or noncompliance is discovered is fundamental to our system for protecting the traveling public. This is a must-do,” said NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind.

“For the second time in three years, BMW has been penalized for failing to meet that obligation. The company must take this opportunity to reform its procedures and its culture to put safety where it belongs: at the top of its priority list.” The agency ordered BMW to pay US$10 million in cash penalties and to spend at least US$10 million implementing improvements, such as appointing an independent consult to develop best practices.

The remaining US$20 million is in deferred penalties that will be due if BMW fails to comply with the order or commits other safety violations, NHTSA said.