December 20, 2021 | Washington, DC
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today announced new penalties against five registered importers for violating federal safety requirements for importing vehicles.
The five registered importers are Automotive Services Company in Spokane, Washington; Diversified Vehicle Services, Inc. in Indianapolis; Newport International, Inc. in Arlington, Texas; Northern Imports, LLC in Airway Heights, Washington; and VIP Traders, Inc. in Airway Heights, Washington.
These enforcement actions followed investigations where NHTSA identified that the importers violated federal requirements by importing vehicles that do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
“Registered importers are responsible for ensuring that the vehicles they bring into the United States are safe and meet all federal standards and requirements. These enforcement actions should make clear to all registered importers the responsibility they have to ensure these vehicles are safe and legal to drive,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator.
NHTSA authorizes registered importers to import noncompliant vehicles and then bring the vehicles into compliance, repair any open recalls, certify them as compliant, and hold them for a mandatory waiting period before releasing them for sale.
The penalties are:
- Automotive Services Company: NHTSA has suspended its registration for 180 days for violations related to vehicle certifications submitted to NHTSA and the mandatory waiting period. The violations relating to ASC include 1) submitting certifications of conformance signed by unauthorized persons, 2) violations of the mandatory waiting period, and 3) failing to report a new location and new facilities used for operations.
- Diversified Vehicle Services: NHTSA has entered into a consent order with Diversified Vehicle Services, where the company agrees to a civil penalty of $500,000, a 125-day suspension, and the revocation of its registered importer registration. In the consent order, the company admits violations of the requirements relating to the import, modification and certification of noncompliant vehicles and the mandatory waiting period. If Diversified Vehicle Services commits no additional violations during the two years of the consent order, a portion of the civil penalty and the registration will be returned to the company.
- Newport International: NHTSA has entered into a consent order with Newport International, where the company agrees to a civil penalty of $30,000 and a 180-day suspension. In the consent order, Newport International admits violations related to certification labels and the mandatory waiting period. Under the consent order, 150 days of the suspension and $20,000 of the civil penalty will be waived if Newport International has no additional violations during the one year of the consent order.
- Northern Imports: NHTSA has suspended its registration for 75 days for violations of the mandatory waiting period.
- VIP Traders: NHTSA has suspended its registration for 340 days for violations related to certification labels placed on vehicles, vehicle certifications submitted to NHTSA, and the mandatory waiting period.