The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Friday announced that Southern Honda Powersports in Chattanooga has agreed to pay $125,000 in response to the agency's assertion that the dealership allowed the sale of unrepaired, recalled vehicles.
"With millions of vehicles traveling our highways every single day, we take our responsibility to safeguard the driving public very seriously and we expect automakers and dealerships to do the same," said U.
S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Under federal law, vehicle dealers have a legal obligation not to sell a new vehicle they know to be recalled until the defect or noncompliance has been remedied. Any dealerships that receive notice of the recall from the manufacturer and sell 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.
"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 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. The agency is unaware of any deaths or injuries involving these vehicles.
The fines received from the dealership will be paid into the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury.
The firm, which is the largest Honda dealership in the world, is owned by Chattanooga auto dealer Tim Kelly.