Dangerous Vehicles Cause NHTSA to Issue Record Number of Fines


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Earlier, we posted an article that covered personal injuries caused by an abnormally high year for medical recalls. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)reports that 2014 topped the charts for them as well. The NHTSA is the government agency that operates in a similar capacity as the Food and Drug Administration, but in relation to vehicles and roadways. As part of the scope of its functions, it tracks complaints regarding faulty vehicles, as well as reports of personal injury, and unfortunately, sometimes death.


In the year 2000, the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act was created. The need for better reporting practices came to light when Ford's Wilderness tires, which were mostly included on Explorers, began failing at an alarming rate. The tires would literally peel apart, especially in hot weather, causing an unfathomable amount of accidents. Before Ford voluntarily pulled them from the market and exchanged the ones already in use, the tires were responsible for more than 100 deaths. Had the TREAD Act been in place, experts believe reports would have combined to highlight the issue before so many lives were lost. 2014 Violations The NHTSA launched an investigation into Honda's early warning reporting practices and found that they failed to report 1,729 deaths and injury incidents, as well as warranty claims. Because of this, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued Honda two violations, each with a 35 million-dollar fine, which is the maximum allowed at this time. In total, the agency issued 126 million dollars in civil penalties in 2014, which is more than it has issued in its entire 43-year history. A number of other well-known companies were also found in violation of policy, including:

  • Chapman Chevrolet LLC
  • Ferrari S.p.A. and Ferrari North America, Inc.
  • General Motors Company
  • Gwinnett Place Nissan
  • Hyundai Motor America
  • Prevost, a division of Volvo Group Canada, Inc/ Volvo Industrial de Mexico S.A. de C.V./ Prevost Car (US) Inc.
  • Southern Honda Powersports/ Big Red Powersports LLC

Two of the companies that made the list, Chapman Chevrolet and Gwinnett Place Nissan, are car dealerships that failed to make warranty-related repairs prior to the sale and delivery of new vehicles. This is incredibly concerning because it means they were aware that vehicles needed repair but sold them to unsuspecting customers anyway. Neither entity is near Charleston, but personal injuries have resulted locally from some of the recalls associated with other companies on the list, like General Motors.

Charleston Personal Injury Attorney

Although the NHTSA is working to hold auto manufacturers and dealers accountable for their faulty products, the mere fact that these fines are being issued is a sign that the system is imperfect. Dangerous vehicles are produced and sold and consumers are still being harmed by them. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to a defective vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. Our lawyers are skilled in litigation and will work to establish which agencies are at fault, hold them accountable, and help you receive a just settlement. Please tell us about your case using our online form or speak directly to one of our attorneys by calling 1(800)610-2546.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or business tort. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.