The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has fined luxury car maker Ferrari $3.5 million as a civil penalty for failing to submit certain early warning reports identifying possible safety issues with its vehicles. As part of a consent order filed in an agency administrative proceeding, Ferrari, which is affiliated with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, admitted that it violated the law by failing to submit the safety reports to NHTSA over the course of three years through the second quarter of 2014 and failing to report three fatal crashes, according to the agency. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement:
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 if they fail to do their part in our mission to keep Americans safe on the road.
NHTSA said that until Fiat, which has held Ferrari since 2011, purchased Chrysler, Ferrari was still a “small volume manufacturer” that did not need to file such regular reports and was not required to file quarterly early warning reports, according to the agency’s statement. But it added that Ferrari still had to report fatal incidents. NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman made these comments in the statement:
The information included in early warning reports is an essential tool in tracking down dangerous defects in vehicles.
According to reports, Fiat Chrysler plans to spin off Ferrari into an independent company and list a portion of its shares as part of the newly merged company’s attempt to raise capital. This is in support of its more than $60 billion growth strategy. The Fiat Chrysler board projects that management should complete the separation next year. After the transaction, public shareholders will hold a 10 percent stake in Ferrari, with existing Fiat Chrysler shareholders — including Fiat’s founding family, the Agnellis — taking the rest.
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