U.S. safety regulators have slapped German automaker BMW with a $40 million penalty for moving too slowly to fix Mini brand cars that failed federal crash tests.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also said Monday that BMW failed to send the agency accurate recall information.
According to a consent order signed by the company, BMW must pay $10 million in cash and spend $10 million on steps to get into compliance. Another $20 million in fines must be paid if BMW doesn’t comply or commits other safety violations.
BMW agreed to take steps to make sure that the violations don’t happen again, the agency said in a statement.
The order resolves an investigation that began in September into whether BMW notified the NHTSA within the legally required five days of finding out that 2014 and 2015 Mini Cooper models failed to meet side-impact crash standards.
According to NHTSA, a Mini two-door Hardtop Cooper failed an agency crash test in October 2014, and BMW responded by saying that the car was listed with an incorrect weight rating and would pass at the proper weight. BMW agreed to a recall to fix the weight rating label and to do a service campaign to add side-impact protection.
But in July, NHTSA did a second crash test at the corrected weight rating, and the Mini failed again. Then the agency found out that BMW never did the service campaign to bolster side-impact protection.
— Associated Press
JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $150 million to public pension funds and individuals hurt by its $6 billion “London Whale” trading loss, Ohio’s attorney general announced Monday.
The settlement deal comes in a 2012 class-action lawsuit that alleged JPMorgan Chase issued false and misleading statements regarding its trading activity, describing risky and speculative trading strategies as mere “hedges” or “risk management” devices.
Subsequent London Whale losses caused the bank’s stock value to plummet. The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System lost $2.5 million. It joined similar funds in Oregon and Arkansas and Swedish pension fund AP7 as lead plaintiffs. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
“Misleading investors with wrong or incomplete information is unacceptable and causes real damage,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in announcing the agreement.
A message seeking comment from the company was not immediately returned.
Besides pension funds, thousands of individuals who bought JPMorgan stock between April 13, 2012, and May 21, 2012, are covered under the settlement.
— Associated Press
● Federal regulators rejected an offer from Staples to sell $1.25 billion in contracts, an attempt by the office supply retailer to ease monopoly fears as it tries to acquire rival Office Depot. The Federal Trade Commission sought to block the deal earlier this month, saying that a merger between the last of the major retailers in the sector would throttle competition. Regulators said that competition between the two was crucial to keep prices fair for industries that must acquire pens, paper and other supplies. Staples said that it is still willing to negotiate with the FTC and that it may pursue legal action to close the deal.
● The Federal Reserve proposed on Monday that big banks would have to hold additional capital if regulators determine that U.S. credit risk has risen to above-normal levels and threatens the financial system. The proposal for what the Fed is calling a “countercyclical capital buffer” is designed to fortify banks against potential losses and “help moderate fluctuations in the supply of credit,” the Fed said in a news release. The proposal, open for comment until Feb. 19, is the latest response by regulators to the 2008 financial crisis.
● A Georgia-based real estate developer on Monday told a federal judge he will plead guilty to participating in what authorities say was a $100 million insider trading scheme that involved hacking into networks that distribute corporate news releases. Alexander Garkusha, who authorities say traded on inside information, told a judge in Brooklyn that he will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, becoming the first defendant criminally charged in the case to admit wrongdoing. Prosecutors said Garkusha, 47, who was born in Russia and is a U.S. citizen, was among a group of traders who executed securities transactions based on inside information stolen by hackers in Ukraine. He was arrested in August.
● New York state gambling regulators on Monday approved licenses for three new casinos under construction in the Catskills, Schenectady and the Finger Lakes. The Gaming Commission’s five members unanimously approved each without comment. That followed selection by a siting board last year of applications for the Montreign Resort Casino in the Sullivan County town of Thompson; the Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady; and Lago Resort & Casino in the Seneca County town of Tyre.●
— From news services
● 8:30 a.m.: Commerce Department releases third-quarter gross domestic product.
● 9 a.m.: National Association of Realtors releases existing home sales for November.
— From news services