The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is fining Ferrari $3.5 million for failing to submit proper safety documentation over the past three years, including reports on three fatal accidents. The agency said Ferrari hadn't submitted any of its required safety reports for three years.

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Large automakers and those affiliated with larger automakers have to submit "early warning reports" detailing potential or actual safety issues to NHTSA each quarter. Before Ferrari was consolidated with parent Fiat in 2011, it was exempt from some reporting requirements because it was considered a low-volume manufacturer.

Deputy Administrator David Friedman described the early warning reports as the "NHTSA's radar," helping the agency find unsafe vehicles and ensure they are fixed, as well as providing the first indication that an automaker may need to issue a recall.

In addition to paying the fine, Ferrari will improve its process for reporting safety issues, train personnel on NHTSA requirements and retroactively submit the missing reports. It will also communicate any changes made to its reporting procedures to the agency.

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The fine comes as NHTSA is under increased pressure from the public to more effectively spot safety issues in the wake of the massive General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] ignition switch and Takata airbag recalls.

Meanwhile, Ferrari is about to be split from Fiat once again, as the Italian auto giant looks to raise cash to fund expansion of its other brands.


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