The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the agency is reviewing its policies on publicizing fines that automakers pay for not recalling vehicles in a timely fashion.
NHTSA decided in June not to publicize a large fine imposed on Ford Motor Co. for failing to recall more than 400,000 vehicles in a timely fashion after it had publicized the five previous fines issued to major automakers over recalls since 2010. The fine was posted on a government website but went unnoticed until the Wall Street Journal reported the news more than a month after Ford agreed to pay the fine.
Ford paid NHTSA a $17.35 million fine after the agency said the automaker did not notify customers of a defect in a timely manner after it recalled 423,000 2001-04 Ford Escapes and Mazda Tributes in July 2012, the maximum fine under current law. Ford did not admit any wrongdoing.