BMW fined $40m for Mini safety and recall violations
Automotive safety regulators in the US have fined BMW $40 million over safety lapses regarding the company’s delayed Mini Cooper recall.
The recall came after BMW’s Mini brand discovered that their Mini Cooper failed to meet regulatory minimum standards for side-impact crash protection. A NHTSA investigation into whether or not the company failed to issue a recall for 2014 and 2015 Mini Cooper models within five days of learning about the safety problem has now concluded, with the $40 million fine as the result.
The 40 million dollars comes as a civil settlement, with the total being split into three parts. The first is a $10m fine, the second is a $10m spending requirement to meet the order’s performance obligations and third is $20m in deferred penalties should BMW fail to comply with the settlement orders or commit any other safety violations.
This is the second time since 2012 that BMW has been fined by the NHTSA, as well as administering several Mini Cooper recalls over the last couple of years.
In a statement made on Monday, the NHTSA said: “Under the Consent Order, BMW acknowledges that it failed to recall the noncompliant vehicles in a timely fashion. It also acknowledges additional violations discovered in NHTSA’s investigation, including failing in multiple recalls since its 2012 consent order to notify owners and dealers of recalls in a timely fashion and to provide required quarterly recall completion reports on time.”
“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 NHTSA has been cracking down on the car industry’s safety failures ever since General Motors Co.’s ignition switch crisis; GM and the NHTSA suffered great embarrassment because of the scandal, as well as GM facing billions of dollars in damages.