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Et tu, Brute? Volvo Fined for Delaying Recall Plans For Defective Cars

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Even Volvo, the automaker generally thought to be (at least by reputation) the world's safest car manufacturer, has been fined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for delaying, or failing to report, seven recalls timely. The recalls concerned about 32,000 vehicles in 2010 and 2012, and included defects such as incorrect tire-pressure labeling, defective airbag deployments, stalling engines, and others. These are safety-related defects.

Under federal law, once a manufacturer discovers a safety-related problem with its cars or trucks, it has five business days to inform NHTSA of its plan for a recall. If this is not done, then it faces civil penalties. Volvo was fined $1.5 million for its oversights, which is little more than walking around money for an automobile manufacturer like Volvo. This fine does not even amount to a slap on the wrist.

In the settlement with NHTSA, Volvo agreed to the fine but admitted no wrongdoing. Translation: Let's cut our losses (at a really low number) and go home so as to avoid paying lawyers more to fight. That is indeed good business. For the actual settlement document, visit: http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTIwNzAzLjg3NTkwNzEmbWVzc2FnZWlkPU1EQi1QUkQtQlVMLTIwMTIwNzAzLjg3NTkwNzEmZGF0YWJhc2VpZD0xMDAxJnNlcmlhbD0xNzA1OTgxMyZlbWFpbGlkPWNocmlzdG9waGVyamVuc2VubmhAZ21haWwuY29tJnVzZXJpZD1jaHJpc3RvcGhlcmplbnNlbm5oQGdtYWlsLmNvbSZmbD0mZXh0cmE9TXVsdGl2YXJpYXRlSWQ9JiYm&&&103&&&http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/Volvo_Settlement.pdf

Volvo "apologized" and said it had "taken steps to improve the reivew process. . . ." Why not just initiate the recall on time and avoid the whole NHTSA fine issue? Because it costs money to recall vehicles and make the repairs, that's why, and maybe if the problem is ignored, it goes away and NHTSA forgets about it (hopes Volvo) or looks the other way.

For more information on autmobile recalls, visit: http://www.nhtsa.gov

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  1. Lisa Stapleton says:
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    Volvo has not acted the same since it was acquired by Ford, who of course were responsible for the Pinto fiasco. I have a 1997, and my husband has a 2001. One before the acquisition, one after. The pre-Ford model practically regenerates itself, and has more than half a million miles on it. The post-Ford model has not held up well at all, even though it is a premium “executive model.” We had to quit using it at around 100,000 miles. I believe that quality has really suffered.