What happens when an auto maker does not act quickly enough to recall a defective vehicle? Currently, auto manufactures have to report any safety defect within five days of its discovery. If they fail to report the defect within this timeframe they are fined roughly $17 million. While this seems like a lot of money, many are concerned that the fine is not high enough. Our Virginia Beach auto recall lawyers have seen too many companies take the lives of their customers for granted, allowing dangerous vehicles to stay on the road.
Auto Companies Who Have Been Fined
In recent years, there have been several auto makers who have received fines for untimely reporting of auto defects. The most notable is Toyota. The car manufacturer paid the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) $50 million in the year 2010 alone.
Toyota was found to be guilty of several violations to include waiting a full 11 months before reporting serious safety issues with their 4Runner. This was not their only violation; Toyota also was slow to report that the accelerator in many of their cars was sticking. This sticking caused cars to accelerate out of control.
The most recent fine was levied against BMW. The NHTSA fined the company $3 million for untimely reporting of dangerous defects and not providing the enough information regarding the recall.
How High Would New Fines Be?
A current bill before Congress would raise the $17 million fine to $250 million for any auto maker who fails to recall vehicles with dangerous flaws. Supporters of the bill believe that the significantly higher fine would ensure that car manufacturers would report problems as soon as they happen. They point to the recent cases of delayed recalls and the fact that the current allowable fines are not high enough to discourage these dangerous delays.
As Virginia Beach attorneys who specialize in auto recall lawsuits, we know that car manufacturers too often put their bottom line before the safety of the customers. Perhaps a higher fine is the only way to ensure that they stop allowing dangerous cars, trucks and SUV's to remain on the road long after they should have been recalled.
If you believe that an auto defect caused your Virginia Beach car accident, contact an experienced attorney at Tavss Fletcher for your free consultation. Together we can get you the compensation you deserve and send a message to auto makers: Our lives should come before your profits.