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From Products Liability Law Daily, September 1, 2015

NHTSA fines Triumph $2.9 million for reporting violations

By John Dumoulin

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has imposed a $2.9 million civil penalty against Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. and Triumph Motorcycles (America) Ltd. for violations of Safety Act reporting requirements and failure to fully respond to communications from NHTSA, according to an agency press release. Triumph admits that it violated the Safety Act by failing to file certain quarterly reports on safety recalls in a timely manner; by failing to furnish NHTSA with copies of notices, service bulletins, and other communications sent to more than one manufacturer, distributor, dealer, owner, or purchaser as required by law; and by failing to submit accurate early warning reports (NHTSA Press Release, No. 42-15, August 31, 2015).

Background. NHTSA said that in September 2014, Triumph recalled more than 1,300 motorcycles for a defect that could reduce steering capability and increase the risk of a crash. In April 2015, NHTSA began an investigation to determine whether Triumph had violated the requirement to report the defect in a timely manner. The investigation also considered other potential violations by Triumph, including failure to submit quarterly reports on recall completion rates; failure to supply copies of technical service bulletins; and failure to file early warning data reports on death and injury claims, warranty data, and other information.

Triumph responded to the investigation by acknowledging deficiencies in the way it collected and reported early warning data to NHTSA and several instances in which it was late in providing quarterly reports on safety recalls. According to NHTSA’s release, Triumph also failed to respond to an NHTSA Special Order, issued as part of the investigation, by the required deadline.

Consent order. Under a consent order, Triumph must pay a $1.4 million cash penalty and must spend at least $500,000 meeting a series of requirements to improve its safety practices. Triumph could become liable for another $1 million in penalties if it violates the consent order or commits further violations of the Safety Act. The consent order also requires Triumph to hire an independent consultant to audit its safety practices; establish a compliance officer position with direct access to Triumph’s board and senior executives; and submit written plans for compliance practices and employee training for NHTSA’s approval.

MainStory: TopStory MotorVehiclesNews

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