Triumph Motorcycles Agrees to Penalty in Failure-to-Report Case

NHTSA announced that it investigated after the company recalled more than 1,300 motorcycles for a defect that could reduce steering capability, and the company filed a late response to a NHTSA Special Order.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Aug. 31 imposed a $2.9 million civil penalty against Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. and Triumph Motorcycles (America) Ltd. for violations of Safety Act reporting requirements and failure to fully respond to the agency's communications, although $1 million of the total "could become due if the company violates the consent order or if additional Safety Act violations emerge," the announcement stated.

"Manufacturers must comply with their reporting obligations. The law requires it, and public safety demands it," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

A consent order signed by company officials commits Triumph to paying a $1.4 million cash penalty and spending at least $500,000 meeting requirements to improve its safety practices. The order requires Triumph to hire an independent consultant to audit the company's safety practices, create a compliance officer position with direct access to the company's board and senior executives, and submit written plans for compliance practices and employee training for NHTSA's approval.

"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," NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said.

Triumph recalled more than 1,300 motorcycles last September for a defect that could reduce steering capability and increase the risk of a crash, according to NHTSA. The agency opened an investigation into whether Triumph had violated the requirement to report the defect in a timely manner, and into other potential violations, in April 2015. In response, Triumph acknowledged deficiencies in the manner in which it collected and reported early warning data to NHTSA and several instances of filing quarterly reports on safety recalls late and failing to meet the deadline to a NHTSA Special Order issued as part of the investigation.

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