The federal agency that oversees road safety in the United States announced Friday morning that Ferrari had not submitted early warning reports for the past three years. These reports help the agency identify potential or existing safety threats.
In the wake of the rolling recalls for defective General Motors ignition switches, there has been considerable scrutiny of NHTSA's handling – or mishandling – of these early warning reports. Friday's fine is an indication the agency is taking its enforcement mandates more seriously, albeit against a manufacturer that has no large-scale presence on American roads.
"There is no excuse for failing to follow laws created to keep drivers safe," US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a written statement, "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."
Federal law requires manufacturers to file EWR reports quarterly, and NHTSA officials say Ferrari failed to do so for three years and also failed to report three fatal accidents. As a small-volume manufacturer, Ferrari wasn't required to submit the quarterly reports until it fell under the Fiat banner in 2011, though it has always needed to report fatal accidents.
In a statement, Ferrari spokesperson Krista Florin said the missed reporters were inadvertent, and that Ferrari had implemented new procedures to "ensure full compliance in the future."