DOT Fines Heavy Duty Vehicle Manufacturers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just issued a press release regarding two heavy duty vehicle manufacturers who are facing million-dollar fines in connection with failing to conduct safety recalls in a timely manner. According to the NHTSA, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined Spartan Motors Inc. and Forest River Inc. for failure to announce recalls and report safety defects. Both companies have acknowledged their failure to launch timely safety defect recalls as required by law and also their failure to report critical data, such as technical service bulletins and early warning report data.
Multi-Million Dollar Penalties
Forest River Inc., an Indiana-based heavy vehicle manufacturer, failed to launch two safety recalls in a timely fashion. They’re now facing $35 million in civil penalties, which includes a $5 million cash penalty and a $30 million deferred amount. Spartan Motors Inc., a Michigan-based manufacturer, is facing a total civil penalty of $9 million. Both of these companies will also be facing increased monitoring by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Accountability and Vehicle Manufacturers
In the past, vehicle manufacturers and part manufacturers have been able to illegally shirk their duties of safety to consumers and go on with business as usual. Thankfully, those days appear to be over. The NHTSA and the DOT have been cracking down on manufacturers in hopes of sending a message of accountability. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “Today’s actions sends a message to these manufacturers and to others that withholding critical safety information is not an option.” Manufacturers who don’t play by the rules will face fines and civil penalties.
Safety Recalls Involving Your Car
We’ve seen an unprecedented number of vehicle recalls over the last 18 months. If you haven’t done so already, you need to check your automobile’s VIN at the Safercar.gov website. Don’t count on a post card in the mail. Be proactive, and check your car’s recall status. It only takes a few minutes, and it could save your life.
Since manufacturers often drag their feet with safety recalls, it’s a good idea to get your concerns addressed with your vehicle’s safety as soon as possible. If you think a mechanical defect or faulty part caused your accident, you need to report your concern to the NHTSA and speak with a skilled personal injury attorney.