Mercedes to Pay $13 Million U.S. Regulatory Fine As NHTSA Keeps Watch

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
mercedes to pay 13 million u s regulatory fine as nhtsa keeps watch

Mercedes Benz will pay a $13 million penalty to U.S. safety regulators over a failure to report a string of necessary recalls. A signed settlement on file with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that Daimler’s American arm could be on the hook for up to $20 million in regulatory fines.

The remaining $7 million is in the hands of the NHTSA, which has to eventually decide whether or not Mercedes expedited its recall notices or improved upon its recall processes. The automaker will be audited by the regulatory agency until 2022 to help make those assessments.

The NHTSA reported that roughly 40 percent of the automaker’s recalls between 2016 and 2018 (about 101 cases encompassing more than 1.4 million vehicles) were out of compliance. Mercedes was faulted with repeatedly failing to notify customers before the 60-day recall limit. It was also critical of the frequency in which Mercedes-Benz USA’s VIN lookup service was found to be nonfunctional and how often it failed to report incidents to regulators.

It’s a pretty modest penalty, all things considered. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was fined $70 million twice in 2015 by the NHTSA for failing to supply adequate safety information over the period of a dozen years. Other automakers have been hit with similar penalties.

What makes the Daimler’s situation a little different is that the issue only pertains to a handful of model years. However, the NHTSA can easily tack on more financial retribution if it believes more recalls or safety reports were mishandled. The agency said Mercedes-Benz will have to meet with it regularly to discuss recall execution and reporting. It also wants to keep tabs on the brand’s VIN lookup page to guarantee customers have easy access to information.

[Image: Franz12/Shutterstock]

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  • DenverMike DenverMike on Dec 19, 2019

    I'm sure Mercedes giggled their A$$ off.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Dec 19, 2019

    "The NHTSA reported that roughly 40 percent of the automaker’s recalls between 2016 and 2018 (about 101 cases encompassing more than 1.4 million vehicles) were out of compliance." Typically auto salvages don't bring the cars in for recall work so that probably explains the higher number.

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  • Jeff S I have rented from Hertz before and never encountered this but if I had I would sue them. Would not want a gun pointed at me and thrown in jail for renting a car.
  • Arthur Dailey I did use a service pre COVID to get the pricing that the dealers were alleged to have paid the manufacturer. It also provided 'quotes' from multiple dealers .
  • Arthur Dailey Has anyone else concluded that we may have a new 'troll' on this site?