Daimler Trucks Failed to Quickly Recall Vehicles, NHTSA Says

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Daimler Trucks North America LLC agreed Thursday to pay a $30 million civil penalty to settle claims that the German automaker failed to recall vehicles in a timely fashion and comply with federal reporting requirements.

Under the settlement, Daimler Trucks will be required to “develop and implement an advanced data analytics program to enhance its ability to detect and to investigate potential safety defects,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The company will also be required to “improve its IT systems to collect potential safety information from its business units more effectively, and to report that information accurately to NHTSA,” according to the agency.

“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,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens said in a statement.

The settlement between Daimler and NHTSA will last two years, with the agency having the option to extend it for an additional year if warranted. The consent order requires Daimler to make an upfront payment of $10 million, to spend an additional $5 million on specific projects to enhance safety, and includes an additional $15 million deferred penalty that may become payable under specified circumstances.

“In this case, though there are no known accidents or injuries associated with any of the voluntary recalls, we appreciate the opportunity to summarily resolve this matter and continue building safe, efficient and reliable commercial vehicle,” Daimler Trucks said in a statement.

The consent order stems from an investigation NHTSA opened in 2018 that covers Daimler Truck’s handling of seven recalls.

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