BMW has been hit with a $40 million civil penalty by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for its failure to meet safety requirements.
The NHTSA requires automakers to issue recalls within five days of vehicular problems being discovered by the traffic administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. BMW failed to do this after being told that 2014 and 2015 MINI Cooper models had failed to meet the minimum safety requirement for side-impact crashes.
In October 2014, a MINI Cooper failed a crash test with which BMW responded to by saying the car was tested at an incorrect weight, insisting it would pass the test if it was conducted again. Additionally, the marque agreed to conduct a recall to correct the weight figure on the Tire Information Placard.
When the car was re-tested by the NHTSA in July 2015, it failed again and it was at this time the NHTSA discovered BMW hadn’t changed the Tire Information Placard like it agreed to.
Discussing the penalty, NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind said “The requirement to launch recalls and inform consumers in a timely fashion when a safety defect or noncompliance is discovered is fundamental to our system for protecting the traveling public. This is a must-do. For the second time in three years, BMW has been penalized for failing to meet that obligation. The company must take this opportunity to reform its procedures and its culture to put safety where it belongs: at the top of its priority list.”
Of the $40 million civil penalty, $10 million of it is due in cash while another $10 million will have to be spent by BMW to meet new performance obligations and the remaining $20 million is made up of deferred penalties These penalties will be applied if BMW fails to pay the other $20 million or commits other safety violations.