For a brand that's best known for its safety prowess, Volvo's big
government fine has got to sting. But at least its $1.5 million in civil
penalties concern a reporting violation, not safety shortcomings
Volvo North America is paying the civil penalties
after federal regulators say the automaker failed to report safety
defects in five days, as required by law.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today announced that Volvo Cars North America agreed to make the payment.
January 2011, NHTSA opened an investigation into where Volvo had
adequately notified the agency about concerns regarding the improper or
non-deployment of driver's side air bags in 35,000 2010 Volvos.
Eventually, the investigation would involve a review of six recalls in
2010 and another this year, uncovering "evidence that Volvo failed to
report safety defects and noncompliances to the agency in accordance
with federal law," NHTSA said.
As part of the settlement, Volvo
will change its recall decision-making process and ensure timely
reporting to consumers and the federal government.