Blumenthal, Markey Statement on NHTSA-Fiat EWR Civil Penalty – 12/10/15

Senators Urge NHTSA to Write Rules to Increase Transparency and Public Reports of Early Warning Data

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) issued the following statement on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announcement today that it has imposed a civil penalty of $70 million on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) for failing to comply with the Early Warning Reporting (EWR) system, which requires auto manufacturers to report safety data:

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Volkswagen Failed to Report Fatal Incident to Regulator

Volkswagen AG failed to report at least one death and three injuries involving its vehicles to a U.S. regulator’s database designed to save lives by spotting possible defects.

Lawsuits concerning the accidents, filed over the last eight years, weren’t found in records kept by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in searches by Bloomberg and financial adviser Stout Risius Ross Inc. Automakers are required by law to report all claims of possible vehicle defects to the NHTSA database.

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For Volkswagen, New Questions Arise on U.S. Injury Reporting

Volkswagen AG reported death and injury claims at the lowest rate of any major automaker in the U.S. over the last decade.

The numbers are so good that some industry experts wonder if they add up.

The average reporting rate of the 11 biggest automakers was nine times higher than Volkswagen’s, according to an analysis of government data completed last week by financial advisory firm Stout Risius Ross Inc. at the request of Bloomberg News. 

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