Washington: Luxury carmaker Ferrari SpA agreed to pay a $3.5 million fine for failing to report customer complaints, alleged defects and three deaths to US regulators.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Ferrari hasn’t submitted since 2011 the “early warning reports" required by the US government to track the frequency and severity of vehicle safety issues. In addition to the civil penalty, Ferrari agreed to train employees on reporting rules and retroactively submit three years of documented incidents.
“There is no excuse for failing to follow laws created to keep drivers safe, and our aggressive enforcement action today underscores the point that all automakers will be held accountable," Transportation secretary Anthony Foxxsaid in a statement.
Ferrari, which has a self-imposed production cap of about 7,000 cars a year to preserve its exclusive appeal, had once been exempt from the reporting requirements because its sales volumes didn’t meet a certain threshold. That changed in 2011, when the Maranello, Italy-based company was acquired by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
Fiat said earlier this week that it plans to spin off Ferrari, whose lineup includes the $319,000 F12berlinetta and $288,000 458 Speciale.
The consent order released on Friday didn’t provide details about the various incidents Ferrari failed to report, including the three deaths.
Ferrari acknowledges it inadvertently failed to comply with NHTSA’s reporting regulations and agreed to the civil penalty, the company’s director of US communications, Krista Florin, said in a statement.
“Ferrari has already begun implementation of new procedures to ensure full compliance in the future," Florin said.
In the third quarter, Ferrari posted earnings before interest and taxes of €89 million ($111 million) on revenue of €662 million, giving it a profit margin of 13.4%.
Under a 2000 US law, automakers are required to submit reports that detail customer complaints, warranty repairs, injuries and fatalities each quarter. The reports are supposed to provide data that can be analyzed to spot potential safety defects.
Earlier this month, Honda Motor Co. asked a third party to audit its early warning reporting to NHTSA. The action came after the Center for Auto Safety, a Washington-based watchdog group, asked the agency to refer the automaker to the US Justice Department for failing to meet its legal obligations.
The center cited a 2009 fatality and 2013 incident involving serious injury that Honda failed to include in its filings with NHTSA. Bloomberg