The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a settlement agreement with Mercedes Benz USA worth $20 million over how the company has handled vehicle recalls.
Regulators charge the company of not complying with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act by not notifying consumers or reporting vehicle safety defects in a timely fashion. The company is also accused of not maintaining a functioning vehicle information number (VIN) recall lookup system, which consumers often use to see if there are any recalls associated with their vehicle.
“Safety is NHTSA’s top priority, and the agency’s reporting requirements help ensure that consumers are protected and given important information about how to get recalls repaired,” said James Owens, NHTSA’s acting administrator. “These laws are critical to ensure NHTSA’s ability to provide oversight, and we expect manufacturers to follow their legal obligations to the agency and to consumers in carrying out safety recalls.