The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has fined Daimler Trucks North America a civil penalty of $30 million over delays with the recalls of certain Daimler trucks. According to a press release issued by NHTSA, the consent order requires Daimler Trucks to launch an advanced data analytics program to enhance its ability to detect and to investigate potential safety defects.
Delay in Issuing Recalls
Under this order, the automaker must also improve its IT systems to collect potential safety information more effectively. Further, Daimler must develop written procedures and institute training protocols for its employees on recalls and reporting requirements. The civil penalty includes an initial payment of $10 million as well as $5 million on projects to enhance safety and a $15 million deferred penalty if Daimler violates any terms of the order, which will remain effective for two years. If necessary, NHTSA might extend the order.
The consent order is the result of a 2018 NHTSA probe, which examined four recalls that Daimler issued. Officials were concerned about the timeliness of the recalls, which impacted half a million vehicles. Some of the recalls where timeliness was an issue included brake lights, faulty Kidde fire extinguishers in trucks, defective wheelchair lifts and faulty power steering. The investigation determined that Daimler Trucks did not inform NHTSA about these defects in a timely manner.
Federal law requires manufacturers to submit a report to NHTSA within five working days after it knew or should have known about an auto defect. Manufacturers are also required under the law to submit copies of all notices, bulletins, memos and other communications regarding any defects.
Auto Product Liability Issues
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective auto or faulty vehicle part, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. Injured victims may seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering.
If you suspect a defective auto has injured you, it would be in your best interest to preserve the vehicle so an expert can thoroughly examine it for defects, malfunctions and design flaws. An experienced auto defect lawyer can help injured victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options.