Delayed Volvo Recalls Results in $1.5M NHTSA Fine

Swedish automaker Volvo will have to pay $1.5 million dollars for being too slow in conducting recall campaigns, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported Tuesday. 

According to a NHTSA press release, the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires all auto manufacturers to notify the federal regulators within five business days of determining that a safety defect exists or that the manufacturer is not in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards – and to promptly conduct a recall.

After Volvo discovered issues with incorrect tire pressure labeling, defective airbag deployments and stalling issues, which led to the recall of roughly 32,000 vehicles between 2010 and 2012, the auto maker reportedly failed to take timely actions.

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The largest delayed recall included 11,168 Volvo S60, XC60, S80 and XC70 vehicles from the 2012 model year, which were found to have a wire harnesses under the front seats that may not have been attached properly. As a result, when the seats are moved, the wire may be disconnected, which could result in the airbags deploying improperly or not at all.

Earlier this year, Volvo reported it had 182 warranty claims involving the problem, but no crashes. Deliveries and shipments at ports and factories were halted in October 2011, to check and secure wires. However, the company did not officially recall any vehicles for another four months.

Although Volvo eventually alerted consumers about the problems, the NHTSA determined that Volvo’s handling of the situation was slow.

A January 2011 investigation evaluated how fast the situation was handled and found evidence that Volvo failed to report the defects and noncompliance to the agency in accordance with federal law.

Volvo Cars North America will pay $1.5 million in U.S. fines to settle claims that the company failed to report safety defects in a timely manner in seven recall campaigns since 2010. The company has apologized for the delays and indicates that it will work to improve its recall procedures and emphasized that there were no injuries or crashes connected to any of the recalls.

As part of the settlement, NHTSA stated Volvo Cars North America, LLC and its parent company Volvo Car Corporation, have agreed to make internal changes to its recall decision-making process to ensure timely reporting to consumers and the federal government in the future.

Volvo denied wrongdoing in the settlement, but agreed to pay the fine.

Photo Courtesy of draco2008 via Flickr/CC 2.0


  • courtneySeptember 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I own a volvo s60 & i ve been dealing with a number of problems.

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