(NEW YORK) -- The Ford Motor Company has been smacked with a $17.4 million fine by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failure to carry out a timely recall of vehicles with uncontrolled acceleration issues. The fine is the maximum penalty allowed.
The vehicles involved were 2001 to 2004 Ford Escapes and 2001 to 2008 Mazda Tributes. More than 600,000 vehicles were recalled.
Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety says the vehicles had uncontrolled acceleration when you took your foot off the gas.
Ditlow says Ford knew about the problem in 2005, but didn’t announce a recall until forced to do so by the NHTSA in 2012. Ditlow says there are three known deaths in crashes because of the acceleration problem.
Ditlow said the government fine “sends a strong message not only to Ford but also to other auto companies to obey the law.”
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