BMW logoBMW is handing over $3 million in fines to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the way it has handled recalls. NHTSA began an investigation of BMW's practices in 2010, looking at 16 recalls that covered more than 300,000 of the company's cars and motorcycles going back in some cases to 2002.

In levying the fine, NHTSA found that "BMW appears to maintain a practice, by design or habit, in which it provides little information in its initial (recall) filings." Of the instances which garnered fines, however, BMW said all but one of them concerned its motorcycles, not its cars. The NHTSA said that BMW would eventually provide the information but only after what the NHTSA termed an "inordinate amount of time."

To address the issue, BMW is changing its methods for how it provides information to the government and how it deals with recalls.