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Daimler AG Hit With $30M Fine for Recall Failure

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Daimler AG, a German truck manufacturer, will be required to forfeit $30M to the U.S. Government over allegations that they failed to recall their trucks in a timely manner. This is the second investigation into Daimler AG vehicles within the last two years. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that Daimler failed to recall vehicles in a timely fashion and comply with reporting requirements.

As part of the settlement, Daimler has agreed to implement an advanced data analytics program to enable them to detect and investigate safety defects more efficiently. Daimler will be required to pay $10 million immediately while earmarking $5 million for safety projects. There is another $15 million that becomes payable if Daimler fails to uphold the terms of the civil suit. Daimler will also meet with the NHTSA on a monthly basis to update the agency concerning its progress.

Federal Requirements for Auto Safety and Manufacture

The NHTSA is the government agency responsible for handling auto safety. In addition to fulfilling this function, they also investigate major accidents and reconstruct how they occurred. The NHTSA is among the most underfunded federal agencies and is also among the handful of federal agencies that actually shutdown during a government shutdown. In other words, when the NHTSA catches a problem, it’s because that problem is very obvious to everyone already.

As an example, the NHTSA has failed to fine Goodyear over the production of one of the most dangerous tires in the world, the G159, despite evidence that Goodyear knew about the problems with that tire. In fact, the last two penalties issued against companies were both foreign companies, the Korean automakers Kia and Hyundai were fined for failing to initiate recalls early enough, while Daimler, the latest company to face an NHTSA fine, is a German company.

Indeed, Goodyear’s failures were quite similar to Daimler’s. Daimler was accused of failing to act on auto safety hazards quickly enough, as was Hyundai and Kia. However, the NHTSA has complaints concerning Goodyear’s G159 going all the way back to 1996 when the tire was first used on RVs. Further, several deaths were reported in these cases whereas Hyundai and Daimler have no reported deaths related to their vehicles.

Does The NHTSA Protect American Companies?

Going over the list of fines they’ve levied over the past few years, the majority of companies that were nicked for safety failures are American companies. However, these are not major auto manufacturers like Ford or GM. They’re smaller individual dealerships, tour companies, or niche manufacturers. The last major American auto manufacturer to get hit with a serious fine was FCA in 2015 that settled a case for $10 million. In 2014, GM was hit with a $35 million settlement with similar allegations to Daimler. No major American company has faced that large of a fine since then.

Talk to an Auto Liability Attorney Today 

If you believe that your vehicle malfunctioned and contributed to your accident, call the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert right away and we can begin investigating your accident.

 

Resource:

insurancejournal.com/news/national/2021/01/04/595834.htm

nhtsa.gov/laws-regulations/civil-penalty-settlement-amounts

https://www.tiredefectattorney.com/ferrari-recalls-812-superfast-over-window-problem/

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