Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. and Triumph Motorcycles (America) Ltd. now face a civil penalty totaling $2.9 million after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cited the company for violating Safety Act reporting requirements, as well as failure to timely respond to NHTSA’s attempts at communication.
According to NHTSA, Triumph must not only pay a $1.4 million fine, but also spend at least $500,000 in order to meet requirements to improve better the company’s safety procedures. If the company ignores its consent order or if additional Safety Act violations occur, Triumph will be held liable for another $1 million in penalties.
“Manufacturers must comply with their reporting obligations. The law requires it, and public safety demands it,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx about Triumph Motorcycles. “When companies fail to meet those obligations, we will hold them accountable.”
To be in line with NHTSA’s consent order, Triumph must hire an independent consultant to assess the company’s current safety procedures and establish a compliance officer position. Once the position is filled, the individual must have direct access to the company’s board and senior executives and regularly submit written plans for compliance practices and employee training, per 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,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind.
More than 1,300 Triumph motorcycles were recalled in September 2014 due to an issue with the motorcycles’ steering capabilities which increased the likelihood of a crash. However, in April of this year, NHTSA initiated an investigation into Triumph’s handling of the motorcycle recall considering whether the company failed to report the defect soon enough, as well as other possible violations, such as failure to submit quarterly reports on recall completion rates; failure to supply copies of technical service bulletins; and lastly, failure to file early warning data reports on death and injury claims, warranty data and other important data.
While Triumph acknowledged the company’s shortcomings with the NHTSA, Triumph Motorcycles still failed to respond to a NHTSA Special Order by the required deadline during the investigation. The company also admitted that it violated the Safety Act in a number of instances recorded by the NHTSA.