The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has assessed a $3.5 million civil penalty against Ferrari for failure to comply with early warning report submission requirements. These EWR are used to identify potential safety issues for investigation.
EWRs are required on a quarterly basis in order to provide notice to the NHTSA of potential safety concerns from repairs and complaints about vehicles manufactured or distributed by automakers. Ferrari, which is an affiliate of Chrysler, has admitted to the NHTSA that it failed to submit required reports over a three-year period, including three fatal incidents.
Ferrari did not file reports because they did not know they were required to. Until Fiat acquired the company in 2011, Ferrari was considered a small volume manufacturer and was exempt from the NHTSA EWR requirements. Though any fatal incident, no matter the manufacturer’s size, must be reported.
The civil penalty comes with requirements to improve the EWR process at Ferrari and train personnel in the assembly and submission of EWRs to the NHTSA. Ferrari must submit quarterly EWRs as well as updates on its compliance with the court’s order and failure to do so could result in further action from the federal court.
EWR reports are required under the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act of 2000. The law requires quarterly reporting of: production information; incidents involving death or injury; aggregate data on property damage claims, consumer complaints, warranty claims, and field reports; and, copies of field reports involving specified vehicle components, a fire, or a rollover.