PhotoTriumph Motorcycles Ltd. and Triumph Motorcycles (America) Ltd. have been hit with a $2.9 million civil penalty for violations of Safety Act reporting requirements and failure to respond fully to communications from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The penalty stems from Triumph’s September 2014 recall of more than 1,300 motorcycles for a defect that could reduce steering capability and increase the risk of a crash.

“Manufacturers must comply with their reporting obligations. The law requires it, and public safety demands it,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “When companies fail to meet those obligations, we will hold them accountable.”

Under a consent order issued to Triumph, the company must pay a $1.4 million cash penalty and spend at least $500,000 meeting a series of requirements to improve its safety practices. An additional $1 million in penalties could become due if the company violates the consent order or if additional Safety Act violations emerge.

The consent order also requires the company to hire an independent consultant to audit its safety practices, establish a compliance officer position with direct access to Triumph's board and senior executives, and submit written plans for compliance practices and employee training for NHTSA’s approval.

Timely reporting questioned

Earlier this year, NHTSA began an investigation into whether Triumph had violated the requirement to report the 2014 steering 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 response to the 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 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.

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