This penalty totals $40 million and is part of a larger Consent Order, which will require BMW “to take a series of steps to remedy the practices and procedures that led to these violations,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has explained.
While $10 million of this penalty will be due in cash immediately, BMW is also required to pay another $10 million to take the steps towards remedies and compliance. If BMW fails to meet any of the terms of the Consent Order, the remaining $20 million will be due to authorities.
BMW’s Violations: What Led to the Consent Order
The violations that led to the civil penalty against BMW are related to the 2014 and 2015 Mini 2 Door Hardtop Cooper vehicles. According to NHTSA officials:
- In October 2014, these Mini Coopers failed a crash test necessary “to determine whether the vehicle[s] met crash-protection minimums.”
- BWM told regulators that the failure was due to “an incorrect weight” rating and that the vehicles would pass if with the proper weight rating. At this time, BMW also agreed to recall the Tire Info Placards (that listed the incorrect weight ratings) and to carry out a “voluntary service campaign” to “add additional side-impact protection” to these vehicles.
- In July 2015, officials retested the Mini Coopers and found that they still failed this testing. At this time, officials also discovered that BMW had not conducted the recall or voluntary service campaign.
Commenting on this action against BMW, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind has stated:
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.
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