WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Dec. 31 announced a consent order with Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) following an investigation that found the company failed to recall vehicles in a timely fashion and to comply with other reporting requirements. The consent order includes a total civil penalty of $30 million.
DTNA is the manufacturer of Freightliner and Western Star trucks, as well as Thomas Built Buses.
The consent order includes both monetary and non-monetary provisions designed to improve DTNA’s compliance with the law and to improve the company’s safety practices, according to NHTSA. Under the order, DTNA will develop and implement an advanced data analytics program to enhance its ability to detect and to investigate potential safety defects. The company will also improve its IT systems to collect potential safety information from its business units more effectively, and to report that information accurately to NHTSA.
In addition, DNTA will develop written procedures and conduct training for its employees on the recall and reporting requirements of the Vehicle Safety Act, take actions to ensure that its reporting to NHTSA is complete, and meet regularly with NHTSA to discuss potential safety issues.
“Safety is NHTSA’s top priority,” said James Owens, NHTSA deputy administrator. “It’s critical that manufacturers appropriately recognize the urgency of their safety recall responsibilities and provide timely and candid information to the agency about all safety issues.”
DTNA’s consent order with NHTSA is for two years; NHTSA may extend the order for another year, if warranted. The consent order requires DTNA to make an up-front payment of $10 million and spend an additional $5 million on specific projects to enhance safety. The order also includes an additional $15 million deferred penalty that may become payable under specified circumstances.
To review the consent order, click here.