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NHTSA can impose civil penalties on automakers, dealers and component manufacturers for such violations as hiding vehicle defects or failing to promptly recall affected vehicles (https://bit.ly/3adQ0ip). The number of penalties has fallen off sharply during the Trump administration, a review by FairWarning found. The agency imposed 49 penalties totaling $685,079,550 during the eight years of the Obama administration, 2009 through 2016. NHTSA has levied seven penalties for $231,270,000 in nearly four years under President Trump, 2017 through 2020. Some settlements deferred portions of the fines indefinitely if corrective measures were taken.
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DATE / TOTAL PENALTY IMPOSEDDOLLAR AMOUNTCOMPANY CITEDREASON FOR PENALTY
LINK TO PRESS RELEASE/PENALTY DOCUMENT
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FY 2009, 1 penalty: $100,000 *
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1/12/2009 *(Penalty imposed in final days of the Bush administration)100,000PiaggioUntimely recall for motorcycleshttps://www.autosafety.org/wp-content/uploads/import/FINAL%20Piaggio%20Settlement%20Agreement%201%2012%2009.pdf
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FY 2010, 13 penalties: $16,501,500
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10/27/200920,000
Transportation Collaborative
Failure of successor to adequate recall
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1/11/201024,000MitsubishiImporter failed to export temporarily imported vehicles
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3/26/20105,000
Advanced Carbon Composites
Inadequate recall - motorcycle helmets
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4/19/201016,375,000ToyotaUntimely recall - sticky pedal https://one.nhtsa.gov/portal/site/NHTSA/menuitem.554fad9f184c9fb0cc7ee21056b67789/?vgnextoid=c7e2a524540fc210VgnVCM10000066ca7898RCRD&vgnextchannel=c9f64dc9e66d5210VgnVCM100000656b7798RCRD&vgnextfmt=default
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6/8/20104,500Air Engineering
Multiple CARS transactions by single purchaser
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6/10/201021,000Prothro ChevroletFailure to disable CARS trade in vehicle
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6/11/20105,500Step Forward
Multiple CARS transactions by single purchaser
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6/16/20104,500William Ferguson
Multiple CARS transactions by single purchaser
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6/22/201021,000Gary Wood ChryslerFailure to disable CARS trade-in vehicle
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6/23/20106,000Osama NarallahDisposal site - Failure to crush CARS trade-in vehicle as required; failure to report to NMVTIS
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7/2/20104,500Kyrgos
Multiple CARS transactions by single purchaser
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8/4/20104,500
Baltimore Sound Engineering
Multiple CARS transactions by single purchaser
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8/18/20106,000Heavy Metal
Failure to crush CARS trade-in vehicle as required
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FY 2011, 5 penalties: $32,445,050
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10/1/20106,500Malloy Electric
Multiple CARS transactions by single purchaser
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10/1/20104,500
Business Records Management
Multiple CARS transactions by single purchaser
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12/20/201016,375,000Toyota DOT /NHTSA announced $32,425,000 in penalties for two separate investigations--one on handling of pedal entrapment and the other involving steering controls. These are separate from the $16.375 million penalty the previous April https://one.nhtsa.gov/portal/site/NHTSA/menuitem.554fad9f184c9fb0cc7ee21056b67789/?vgnextoid=c7e2a524540fc210VgnVCM10000066ca7898RCRD&vgnextchannel=c9f64dc9e66d5210VgnVCM100000656b7798RCRD&vgnextfmt=default
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12/20/201016,050,050Toyota DOT /NHTSA announced $32,425,000 in penalties for two separate investigations--one on handling of pedal entrapment and the other involving steering controls. These are separate from the $16.375 million penalty the previous Aprilhttps://one.nhtsa.gov/portal/site/NHTSA/menuitem.554fad9f184c9fb0cc7ee21056b67789/?vgnextoid=c7e2a524540fc210VgnVCM10000066ca7898RCRD&vgnextchannel=c9f64dc9e66d5210VgnVCM100000656b7798RCRD&vgnextfmt=default
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7/21/20119,000Brose Auto Group
Failure to provide full CARS credit to purchasers
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FY 2012, 2 penalties: $4,500,000
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2/10/20123,000,000BMWUntimely recallshttps://www.autonews.com/article/20120210/OEM11/120219979/bmw-agrees-to-pay-3-million-fine-to-u-s-auto-safety-regulators
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7/3/20121,500,000VolvoUntimely recalls
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FY 2013, 7 penalties: $36,429,000
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3/8/201321,000Wilson HanoverPaid two installments of $10,500 each in 2013 - registered importer violation; breach of 2008 settlement agreement, failure to submit conformity packages, release of vehicles still under bond
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7/30/20131,500,000Prevost, division of Volvo Group Canada Paid first installement of six annual payments of $250,000 each. Untimely recalls and untimely submission EWRs
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6/28/201317,350,000Ford Motor CompanyUntimely recalls - stuck throttle when accelerator pedal is fully or almost fully depressedhttps://www.safetyresearch.net/Library/Civil_Penalty.pdf
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5/22/201382,000LotusImportation of noncompliant vehicles
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4/29/20131,000
Phine Designs, Inc.
Illegal modification - rendering head restraints inoperative
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3/14/2013125,000
Southern Honda Powersports
Paid first installment of five annual payments of $25,000 each. Sale of unrepaired recalled motorcycles
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12/17/201217,350,000Toyota untimely recall
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FY 2014, 3 penalties: $52,791,000
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8/8/201417,350,000Hyundai Motor AmericaUntimely recall https://one.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Press-Releases/Hyundai%E2%80%93agrees%E2%80%93to%E2%80%93pay%E2%80%93$17.35%E2%80%93million%E2%80%93fine
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5/16/201435,000,000
General Motors Company
Untimely recall https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/may-16-2014-tq14-001-consent-order.pdf
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5/16/2014441,000
General Motors Company
Failure to fully respond to order by due date
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FY 2015, 11 penalties: $230,313,000
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7/24/2015105,000,000Fiat ChryslerUntimely notice; failure to adequately remedy defective vehicles, failure to provide timely, accurate and complete information on defects and recallshttps://one.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Press-Releases/nhtsa_fiat_chrysler_enforcement_action_07262015
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7/8/20159,000,000Spartan MotorsPaid first installment of $333,333; three annual payments totalling $1,000,000. Failure to submit TSBs; Untimely recallhttps://one.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Press-Releases/dot_fines_2_heavy_duty_vehicle_makers
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7/8/2015$35,000,000 Forest River, Inc. (bus maker)Failure to submit EWRs; failure to report foreign recalls; Untimely recalls https://www.safetyresearch.net/blog/articles/nhtsa-fines-bus-maker-forest-river
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6/16/20153,000Merhow IndustriesFailure to make reports
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3/19/20153,000,000
GRACO Childrens' Products
Untimely recall
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2/6/20151,750,000Ricon Corp.Sale of defective equipment
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12/29/201470,000,000
American Honda Motor Co.
Failure to report certain death & injury reportshttps://one.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2015/DOT-fines-Honda-$70-million
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11/24/2014110,000Gwinnet Place NissanSale & delivery of unrepaired recalled vehicles
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10/1/201450,000Chapman ChevroletSale & delivery of unrepaired recalled vehicles
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10/31/20143,500,000FerrariFailure to submit EWRs
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8/28/20152,900,000Triumph MotorcyclesFailure to submit EWR reports; failure to respond to special order. Note: penalty imposed FY 2015, but first payment of $700,000 made in FY 2016
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FY 2016, 6 penalties: $311,080,000
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12/8/20151,000,000
Harbor Freight Tools USA, Inc.
Untimely recall; failure o file certain quarterly reports, failure to timely notify owners of existence ofa defect. Paid first installment of two, $200,000 each.
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4/26/201640,000International Autos, Inc.
Sale and delivery of unrepaired recalled vehicles
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3/24/201640,000Sands Chevrolet
Sale and delivery of unrepaired recalled vehicles
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12/17/201540,000,000BMW of North AmericaUntimely recall; failure to promptly notify owners of vehicle defectshttps://one.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Press-Releases/nhtsa_bmw_fined_$40_million_12212015
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11/2/2015200,000,000TK Holdings, Inc. Failure to file timely defect info reports. Paid first installment of $10 million; six annual installmentshttps://one.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2015/nhtsa-imposes-record-fine-on-takata-11032015
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12/8/201570,000,000Fiat Chrysler
Failure to report certain death & injury incidents
https://one.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Press-Releases/nhtsa_fca_penalty_12102015
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FY 2017, 2 penalties: $1,020,000
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11/15/20161,000,000Ride the DucksFailure to certify vehicles, untimely recalls, failure to submit EWR reports and TSBs, failure to notify NHTSA of a defect, failure to timely notify owners of existence of a defect; railure to remedy a defect. Paid first installment of $480,000; four installmentshttps://one.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Press-Releases/nhtsa_fines_rtd_12062016
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1/17/201720,000Michelin North AmericaSale of uncertified tires
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FY 2018, 2 penalties: $130,000
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12/11/2017110,000C&M TrailersFailure submit EWR reports; manufacturing and certifying vehicles that don't comply with the FMVSS; failure to submit identifying information; failure to comply with VIN requirements; failure to maintain information on first retail purchasers; failure to maintain records of tire purchasers; untimely recalls. Paid four installments in FY 2018 totalling $10,000
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4/16/201820,000
Champion Ford Edinboro, Inc.
Sale/delivery of unrepaired recalled vehicles
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FY 2019, 1 penalty: $40,000
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3/11/201940,000Bical ChevroletSale/delivery of unrepaired recalled vehicles. Paid two installments in FY 2019
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In FY 2020, 4 penalties: $231,100,000
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11/27/2020$210,000,000 Hyundai and KiaFailure to timely recall vehicles for engine fire riskhttps://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/nhtsa-announces-consent-orders-hyundai-and-kia-over-theta-ii-recall
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8/19/2020100,000Ken Garff AutomotiveSale of unrepaired recalled vehicles
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12/18/20191,000,000NavistarFailure to timely file defect and noncompliance information reports