Mercedes Hit With Up to a $20 Million Bill Over Recall Snafus
Mercedes will have to pay up for failing to hit certain safety recall deadlines.
The German automaker has agreed to pay $13 million to resolve a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation. Mercedes also pledged to fork over another $7 million if it does not comply with the terms of that deal.
“Safety is NHTSA’s top priority, and the agency’s reporting requirements help ensure that consumers are protected and given important information about how to get recalls repaired,” James Owens, the agency’s acting chief, said in a statement announcing the settlement.
NHTSA looked at 101 instances of defects or similar issues affecting Mercedes vehicles over a two-year period. It found that the company failed in six instances to properly notify owners of impacted vehicles within 60 days, as required by law. In one case, the company was more than 20 days late, according to the Washington Post.
"We believe that we did not deliberately do anything wrong, but unfortunately we missed some deadlines in informing the agency of the measures we had taken in fulfilling their requirements,” a Mercedes representative told CNET.
Mercedes is among a slew of carmakers still working to replace defective Takata airbags in their vehicles. The airbags were ordered removed following a string of accidents in which they deployed unexpectedly, sending debris flying into moving cars and causing collisions. Mercedes has one of the lower completion rates among major automakers, with only about one-third of those airbags replaced, according to the Post.
Legal Rights for California Car Owners
Recalls highlight the significant defects that often lurk in new cars, which can pose serious safety hazards. The California lemon law is designed to give car owners in the Golden State some additional protections.
The song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act forces carmakers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. The law also requires a car manufacturer to buy back a defective vehicle that it is unwilling or unable to fix. The manufacturer can instead offer to replace the vehicle, but it is up to the owner to decide whether to accept that option.
A seasoned California lemon law attorney can help you pursue compensation or a new car under the law.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney Today
If you are a car owner with a vehicle that is defective or which has been recalled, an experienced California lemon law attorney can help. A lawyer can explore your rights and options to ensure that the carmaker is held fully accountable.
At the Bickel Law Firm, we have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases in Southern California and across the state. Our firm has a strong track record of success in these cases and our attorneys are dedicated to helping the people we represent get the compensation they deserve.
Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney today.