BMW has been charged with a U.S. civil penalty for a failure to report auto-safety defects and recalls in a timely manner for approximately 338,700 vehicles in 2010.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), BMW was reviewed in 2010 when the German automaker routinely did not disclose enough information regarding defects and recalls for vehicles including the X5 and X6 SUVs, the 5-series Grand Turismo crossover, 1 Series and 7 Series Cars, as well as motorcycles. In NHTSA’s December 15, 2010 report, a regulator noted, “BMW appears to maintain a practice, by design or habit, in which it provides little information in its initial filings. Where information required to be provided as part of a recall report is not provided initially, BMW will assure it will provide that information, but then take an inordinate amount of time to do so.”
At $3 million, BMW received the highest penalty since the NHTSA fined Toyota $16.4 million for its own defects and recalls.
Quoted from an email statement written by NHTSA Administrator David Strickland, “It’s critical to the safety of the driving public that defects and recalls are reported in short order. NHTSA expects all manufacturers to address automotive safety issues quickly and in a forthright manner.”
According to BMW U.S. spokesman Dave Buchko, BMW will respond by changing its reporting methods for future recalls and defects. Buchko adds, “In each case when a defect was identified, a recall was conducted.”