The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Tuesday it would fine auto supplier Takata $70 million for its defective airbags that have caused seven deaths and nearly 100 injuries.
Regulators announced that an additional $130 million fine could be levied on the supplier if they do not comply with additional safety standards or if more defects are found.
“For years, Takata has built and sold defective products, refused to acknowledge the defect, and failed to provide full information to NHTSA, its customers, or the public,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “The result of that delay and denial has harmed scores of consumers and caused the largest, most complex safety recall in history. Today’s actions represent aggressive use of NHTSA’s authority to clean up these problems and protect public safety.”
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey on Thursday sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking the agency to re-evaluate millions of fuel economy credits awarded to the automaker by the agency for cheating diesel cars.
The letter, which was addressed to Administrator Mark Rosekind, outlined the automaker’s exceedingly fuel efficient fleet average from 2008, which now could be in jeopardy after the automaker admitted it cheated emissions tests and could impact those cars’ mileage. (Read More…)
Two sources have told Reuters that the government will levy a $900 million fine on General Motors for its failure to recall and subsequent attempts to cover-up of faulty ignition switches linked to at least 124 deaths.
Criminal charges will be filed against GM for its role in hiding the defect from regulators, but will defer prosecution while the automaker complies with its penalty. The agreement is expected to be announced Thursday.
The massive fine is smaller than the $1.2 billion Toyota paid in March 2014 for its role in concealing that its cars could accelerate suddenly. (Read More…)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will fine Fiat Chrysler Automobiles $105 million for botching the recall of more than 11 million cars, including 1.6 million Jeeps with a fuel tank issue, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The automaker faced fines of up to $700 million.
As part of the settlement, FCA will agree to an independent monitor to audit its recalls. On Friday, FCA announced it was recalling 1.4 million cars and trucks for software that could be hacked and controlled remotely.
The Chinese province of Jiangsu has levied a 350 million yuan ($56 million USD) fine against Mercedes-Benz in continued efforts to break perceived monopolies in car and part sales. It’s the largest fine given to an automaker to date.
Toyota has agreed to make a payment of $17.35 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is “to settle claims related to the timeliness of its June 2012 recall to address the potential for accelerator pedal entrapment caused by unsecured or incompatible driver’s side floor mat in the 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h, without admitting to any violation of its obligations under the U.S. Safety Act.,” as a Toyota statement says. (Read More…)
BYD, that Chinese company that could do no wrong, and that has been anointed by Warren Buffet’s golden hand (and money), is in a bit of a rough patch lately. As if there was no shortage of Bad Yucky Dreams lately, here is more. You want the bad news or the really bad news first? (Read More…)
A lawsuit brought in California against Toyota led to the disclosure of allegedly damning documents that could cost Toyota another huge fine if the documents contain what the lawyers say. Unless lawyers (or the media) were asleep at the wheel. According to USA Today, these documents “point to possible delays involving an earlier safety issue, one that could result in loss of steering control.” USA Today says records that are part of the lawsuit show that Toyota was dealing with cracking and breaking steering relay rods in the U.S. for at least 11 years before it recalled 330,000 pickups and SUVs in Japan to replace the rods — and 12 years before its 2005 recall of nearly a million similar trucks in the U.S.
Sounds kind of familiar. I’m not suffering from Alzheimer yet, so let’s go on a fact-finding mission to the TTAC archives … (Read More…)
The Detroit Free Press got its hands on draft auto safety legislation drawn up by Senators Waxman and Rockefeller, and aimed at preventing another Toyota recall-style scandal. In addition to mandating brake override systems on all cars sold in the US, The Freep says the bill would require that
[NHTSA] come up with rules for space between the brake and accelerator pedals, gear shift designs and stop-start systems – all problems highlighted by the Toyota probe. Automakers would be required to build vehicles with event data recorders that could be easily read, a step Detroit automakers made several years ago but that Toyota and other foreign brands have resisted.
Despite the Freep’s attempt at making the bill sound like it’s only going to affect Toyota and other non-Detroit automakers, there is plenty in the proposed legislation that could hurt any automaker.
Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay a $16.4 million civil fine levied by the U.S. government, reports The Nikkei [sub]. They will not admit any wrongdoing and can claim that they never admitted to knowingly hiding defects from regulators, said a senior U.S. Transportation Department official. On Friday, it wasn’t clear whether the DOT would accept the dough with a deal attached. (Read More…)
On April 5, the NHTSA levied their largest civil penalty in recorded history. $16,375,000 against Toyota, because “they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families.” When we reported that, people thought Toyota would just appeal and drag it out. Not so easy, said The Nikkei [sub]. Toyota is between a rock and a hard place: “Admitting to the charge could strengthen the cases of car owners suing the firm, while refuting it risks inflaming U.S. public opinion.” Toyota found a way out. (Read More…)
While Toyota has recall troubles in one of their largest markets, elsewhere in the world, another carmaker has serious recall troubles in one of their biggest markets. We usually don’t comment on each and every recall everywhere, but this one warrants mention: Brazil’s Justice Ministry has fined Fiat’s Brazilian subsidiary 3 million Reais (about $1.7 million) for failing to comply with four recall orders. Fiat had been asked to recall Stilo models to fix a wheel problem that may (note the key word “may”) have caused 8 deaths since 2004, says Business Week. No recall followed. (Read More…)
Motorists who receive minor parking or traffic tickets in Indianapolis, Indiana are being threatened with fines of up to $2500 if they attempt to take the ticket to court. A local attorney with the firm Roberts and Bishop was so outraged by what he saw in Marion County traffic court that he filed a class action suit yesterday seeking to have the practice banned as unconstitutional.