Volvo recall: Although the car manufacturer is thought to produce some of the safest automobiles money can buy, apparently even they are prone to making mistakes. Between 2010 and 2012, the company recalled roughly 32,000 vehicles for a variety of issues, including incorrect tire-pressure labeling, defective airbag deployments, and stalling engines. Although the company eventually alerted consumers about the recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration thought Volvo's handling of the situation was a little on the slow side. At the end of the day, the company will have to fork over $1.5 million in fines.
Of course, Volvo isn't admitting that it did anything wrong. In fact, the reason they decided to pay the fine was to "avoid a protracted dispute and possible litigation". In other words, spending $1.5 million is quite a bit cheaper than fighting the allegations in court. Lawyers are, after all, a tad expensive, especially when you can just pay a small amount of money to make the problem go away. When you make as much money as Volvo does on a yearly basis, $1.5 million is practically chump change. They'll make that much back in a heartbeat.
According to federal law, car manufacturers have five business days to inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about an impending recall. If they fail to do so, fines will be issued. This, of course, is why Volvo was staring down a multi-million dollar penalty in the first place. They failed to take the proper steps when the threat of a recall was looming on the horizon, and they ultimately paid the price for their actions.
So did the company walk away with a head full of lessons learned? According to a statement, Volvo said that "dedication to quality and consumer safety is paramount. After several conversations with NHTSA about its reporting rules, Volvo Car Corp. has taken steps to improve the review process and analysis of potential quality and safety issues with our vehicles. We are in agreement with NHTSA's objective to communicate with the agency and consumers in a timely manner. It's important to note that, in each of the subject cases, a voluntary recall had been conducted and no injuries, fatalities or property damage claims were reported."
In short, probably not. Unless, of course, the lesson was to not get caught doing anything wrong. However, the settlement did say that Volvo has "streamlined the internal investigation and recall decision-making process to improve the timeliness of necessary notifications to NHTSA."