The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that Volvo failed to issue recalls on six of their automobiles within five days after discovering there was a safety issue with the cars. The NHTSA launched an investigation in January of 2011 into seven instances of automobile recalls issued by Volvo and found that for five of them the company knew there was a problem and failed to issue a recall within five days of that knowledge.
This is a big “ouch” for Volvo which has not only agreed to pay the fine, but also the re-evaluate their method for making a decision regarding a vehicle recall.
NHTSA Administrator David Strickland told reporters, “It’s critical to the safety of everyone on our roadways that automakers promptly report safety defects – and take immediate action to resolve the issue. NHTSA expects all manufacturers to obey the law and address automotive safety concerns without delay.”
According to The Detroit News, the seven recalls involved about 32,000 vehicles altogether. The largest recall evaluated involved 11,168 2012 model Volvo S60, XC60, S80 and XC70 models over potentially improperly attached front seat wiring harnesses.
Volvo XC70s built in 2008-10 had problems with tire pressure labels. But there were other problems with other Volvo vehicles including the 2010-11 C30s, 2010 S40s and V50s; a tie pressure monitoring system problem in 2007, 2010 S80s, faulty airbag wiring in 2010-11 S80s, 2010V70s, 2011XC60s, 2011 S60s, S80s, XC60s, XC70s were all recalled to address engine stalling.
The most recent recall of Volvo cars was just earlier this year and involved 2012 S60, S80, and XC70.
For Volvo the entire ordeal has been a publicity nightmare. Paying the fine surely seemed a simpler way to resolve the issue and allow it pass beyond the water cooler chatter stage into distant memory for consumers who no doubt were confused about exactly just the problems were and whether or not it was even safe to buy and drive a Volvo.