Triumph gets heavy fine from US regulator

Yesterday, the US’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a large fine against Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. and Triumph Motorcycles (America) Ltd. for violations of that country’s Safety Act.

According to the NHTSA website, the fine will cost Triumph at least $1.9 million US, and could run as high as $2.9 million.

The website states the penalty is the result of a recall issued by Triumph in September, 2014 in the US, involving 1300 motorcycles. That recall was for a defect that reduced steering capability. Months later, in April, 2015, the NHTSA “began an investigation into whether Triumph had violated the requirement to report the defect in a timely manner, and into other potential violations, including failure to submit quarterly reports on recall completion rates; failure to supply copies of technical service bulletins; and failure to file early warning data reports on death and injury claims, warranty data and other information.”

In other words, the government department investigated the manufacturer’s paperwork procedures. They determined Triumph did not report the safety issue in a timely manner, resulting in fines. They also determined Triumph did not submit documentation about the safety issue in a proper manner. As the NHTSA website put it:

In response to NHTSA’s investigation, Triumph acknowledged deficiencies in the manner in which it collected and reported early warning data to NHTSA and several instances where Triumph was late in providing quarterly reports on safety recalls. In addition, the company failed to respond by the required deadline to a NHTSA Special Order issued as part of the investigation

Triumph admits that it violated the Safety Act by failing to file certain quarterly reports on safety recalls in a timely manner; by failing to furnish NHTSA with copies of notices, service bulletins, and other communications sent to more than one manufacturer, distributor, dealer, owner or purchaser as required by law; and by failing to submit accurate early warning reports.

As a result, the NHTSA announced they were fining Triumph $1.4 million US, and also requiring them to bring their safety practices up to standard, which will cost them at least $500,000. If Triumph doesn’t comply, they could be fined another $1 million.

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