By Jennifer Geiger on July 4, 2012
The automaker who worked to make its name synonymous with "safety" is being fined for not reporting safety recalls in a timely manner. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Volvo Cars North America has agreed to pay a $1.5 million penalty to settle the charge.
NHTSA's investigation found that in 2010 Volvo failed to issue six safety recalls within the amount of time required by law, as was the case with a seventh recall reported in 2012. Under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, automakers have five business days to notify NHTSA after determining a defect exists.
The 2010 recalls involved incorrect tire pressure labels on 2008-2010 XC70s; automatic transmission issues on 2010-2011 C30s and 2010 S40s and V50s; a tire-pressure monitoring system problem in 2007-2010 S80s; faulty airbag wiring in 2010-2011 S80s, 2010 V70s and 2011 XC60s; an overheated battery in many Volvos equipped with a Garmin navigation system dating back to model-year 2000; and model-year 2011 S60s, S80s, XC60s and XC70s were recalled to address engine stalling.
The most recent recall Volvo was late to report happened earlier this spring: Model-year 2012 S60, S80 and XC70 2012 were recalled to address airbag deployment problems.
Volvo's fine will be paid to the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury. The automaker also agreed to change the company's recall decision-making process to ensure defects are reported in a timely manner.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer