North Carolina Drivers May Be Affected By BMW Recalls
After a review of 16 investigations during 2010, which included 338,000 passenger vehicle recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified numerous disclosure violations. NHSTA investigations are often triggered by customer complaints or safety concerns and can lead to recalls and also fines. In other incidences, car manufacturers determine there are issues with their vehicles and issue a recall or defect warning without government inquiry.
The carmaker BMW was among those targeted by the NHSTA. According to the investigation BMW 5 and 6 Series vehicles from 2004-10 and the 7 Series cars from 2002-08 had a potential oil leak in the brake vacuum pump that could lead to car accidents. As part of the government contention that BMW failed to promptly notify government officials about the defective product, they agreed to a $3 million dollar fine to settle the issue. Other issues found in BMW vehicles in the government investigations include insufficient windshield bonding in some sport activity vehicles and chain and brake problems in some BMW motorcycles.
According to the reports released by the government, BMW failed on multiple occasions to report issues in a timely fashion in both car and motorcycle recalls the company had initiated. In addition, the NHTSA noted a “troubling trend” in the manner in which BMW disclosed information. They stated that the automaker provided little information and delayed the process when they were directed asked to follow up.
The recall and fine of BMW is the largest such action in several years, since the investigation into Toyota for problems with its vehicles suddenly accelerating leading to many fatal accidents. Since that investigation there has been a renewed effort by the government to crack down on car manufacturers about recalls. The government has clearly determined that it is in the best interest of the driving public that safe vehicles are on the road. In investigating and issuing mandatory recalls and stiff penalties the government’s hope is that the defects that cause accidents can be avoided before more people are affected by an unnecessary tragedy.