(a) General Authority and Limitations.— The Secretary of Transportation may compromise or remit the amount of a civil penalty imposed under section
32912(a) or (b) of this title. However, the amount of a penalty imposed under section
32912(b) may be compromised or remitted only to the extent—
(1)necessary to prevent the insolvency or bankruptcy of the manufacturer of automobiles;
(2)the manufacturer shows that the violation was caused by an act of God, a strike, or a fire; or
(3)the Federal Trade Commission certifies under subsection (b)(1) of this section that a reduction in the penalty is necessary to prevent a substantial lessening of competition.
(b) Certification by Commission.—
(1)A manufacturer liable for a civil penalty under section
32912(b) of this title may apply to the Commission for a certification that a reduction in the penalty is necessary to prevent a substantial lessening of competition in the segment of the motor vehicle industry subject to the standard that was violated. The Commission shall make the certification when it finds that reduction is necessary to prevent the lessening. The Commission shall state in the certification the maximum amount by which the penalty may be reduced.
(2)An application under this subsection must be made not later than 30 days after the Secretary decides that the manufacturer has violated section
32911(b) of this title. To the maximum extent practicable, the Commission shall make a decision on an application by the 90th day after the application is filed. A proceeding under this subsection may not delay the manufacturer’s liability for the penalty for more than 90 days after the application is filed.
(3)When a civil penalty is collected in a civil action under this chapter before a decision of the Commission under this subsection is final, the payment shall be paid to the court in which the action was brought. The court shall deposit the payment in the general fund of the Treasury on the 90th day after the decision of the Commission becomes final. When the court is holding payment of a penalty reduced under subsection (a)(3) of this section, the Secretary shall direct the court to remit the appropriate amount of the penalty to the manufacturer.
In subsection (a), before clause (1), the words “compromise or remit” are substituted for “compromise, modify, or remit, with or without conditions” for consistency in the revised title. The words “against any person” are omitted as surplus. The reference to section
32912(b) (a restatement of 15:2008(b)(1)) is used rather than a reference to 32911(b) (a restatement of 15:2007(a)(1) or (2)) to avoid referring, as in the source, to one provision that in turn refers to another provision. In clause (3), the word “reduction” is substituted for “modification” for clarity. The words “as determined under paragraph (4)” are omitted as surplus.
In subsection (b)(1), the words “the standard that was violated” are substituted for “the standard with respect to which such penalty was assessed”, and the words “The Commission shall make the certification when it finds that reduction” are substituted for “If the manufacturer shows and the Federal Trade Commission determines that modification of the civil penalty for which such manufacturer is otherwise liable . . . the Commission shall so certify”, to eliminate unnecessary words.
In subsection (b)(3), the words “When a civil penalty is collected in a civil action under this chapter” are substituted for “but any payment made” for clarity. The words “action was brought” are substituted for “the penalty is collected” for consistency. The words “and shall (except as otherwise provided in paragraph (5)), be held by such court” are omitted as surplus. The words “When the court is holding payment of a penalty reduced under subsection (a)(3) of this section” are substituted for “Whenever a civil penalty has been assessed and collected from a manufacturer under this section, and is being held by a court in accordance with paragraph (4), and the Secretary subsequently determines to modify such civil penalty pursuant to paragraph (3)(C)” to eliminate unnecessary words.
Pub. L. 103–429
This amends 49:32913(b)(1) to clarify the restatement of 15:2008(b)(4) and (5) by section 1 of the Act of July 5, 1994 (Public Law 103–272, 108 Stat. 1073).
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