A penalty amounting to $2.9 million was imposed against Triumph Motorcycles Ltd by the US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for violating the Safety Act's reporting requirements and also failing to respond to communications from the department.
According to the consent order, Triumph is to pay $1.4 million as a cash penalty along with $500,000 to meet requirements to improve its safety practices. If the company violates this order or if any further Safety Act violations come up, an additional $1 million will be imposed. The consent order also instructs Triumph to hire an independent consultant to audit the company's safety practices amd provide written plans for the approval by the NHTSA regarding practices and employee training. It also requires the company to form a compliance officer position which has direct access to its board and senior executives.
Today's enforcement action penalizes past violations, and it promotes the proactive safety culture manufacturers must adopt if they are to reduce safety defects and identify them more quickly than they occur," says NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind.
This huge penalty has its roots in September 2014 when Triumph recalled more than 1,300 motorcycles to fix a defect that could reduce steering capability which increases the risk of crashing. The NHTSA started an investigation into the matter in April 2015 to know whether or not Triumph had violated the requirement to report this defect in time. It also carried out investigations into other potential violations such as neglecting to provide quarterly reports on recall completion rates and failure to file early warning data reports regarding death and injury claims, warranty data and other information.
Triumph did admit to several of these violations in response to the investigation.