U.S. FINES BRITISH MOTORCYCLE MANUFACTURER $2.9 MILLION FOR SAFETY VIOLATIONS – DOVER | MANGO | SYDNEY

NATIONAL—A major British motorcycle manufacturer is facing a $2.9 million fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to notify the NHTSA on time about a steering defect behind its September 2014 recall of more than 1,300 motorcycles.

The NHTSA claims that the British manufacturer violated the Safety Act when it was late to submit safety-related documents to the agency.  The company must pay $1.4 million to the government and must spend at least $500,000 to improve its safety practices.  The remaining $1 million in penalties could become due if the company fails to make improvements or if additional violations are found.

The investigation that led to the huge fine started with the September 2014 recall of more than 1,300 motorcycles. The motorcycles were said to be recalled for a defect that could reduce steering capability and increase the risk of a crash. As a result of the investigation, NHTSA found that the company reported the problem late and then discovered other violations, including failure to submit quarterly recall completion rates on time and not supplying early warning data. The NHTSA found the company’s failure to supply warning data especially alarming since this data is used to inform the NHTSA about problems arising from vehicles, including accidents, customer complains, deaths and injuries. 

The company acknowledged deficiencies in the manner in which it reported warning data to NHTSA and admits that it violated the Safety Act by failing to submit quarterly recalls in a timely manner. 

NHTSA officials stated that these penalties and fines are all part of a movement to promote the proactive safety culture motorcycle manufactures must adopt to reduce safety defects and identify them more quickly than they occur.

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