Southern Honda to pay $125,000 settlement over sales of unrepaired, recalled vehicles

Publish Date: 
Mar 15, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Southern Honda Powersports of Chattanooga, Tenn., has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s allegation that the dealership sold 329 unrepaired, recalled vehicles.

The agency's investigation in 2012 led NHTSA to believe that Southern Honda Powersports had violated federal law by failing to inspect or repair 329 motorcycles prior to their sale and delivery between 2007 and 2012. A NHTSA statement said the agency is unaware of any deaths or injuries involving these vehicles.

When NHTSA started its investigation in May 2012, the agency suggested that thousands of vehicles might have been involved.

Under federal law, vehicle dealers are obligated not to sell a new vehicle they know to be recalled until the defect or noncompliance has been remedied. Any dealership that receives notice of a recall from the manufacturer and sells recalled vehicles without first making the required repair are subject to civil penalties. At the time of Southern Honda Powersports’ alleged violations, the maximum civil penalties were $6,000 per vehicle sold. The settlement amounts to about $380 per vehicle.

The settlement is structured so the dealership will pay $25,000 a year through 2017. The dealership did not admit any liability or culpability, and NHTSA did not make a formal finding in the case.

"Safety is our highest priority," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "NHTSA expects all manufacturers and dealerships to work together to ensure that recalls are completed before new vehicles are sold to the driving public."

The fines received from the dealership will be paid into the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury.

To see the settlement, click HERE.

Posted by Holly Wagner