— The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has nailed Honda with two $35 million civil penalties for failing to report deaths, injuries and warranty claims to the government.
Honda agreed to pay the $70 million fine after the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) requested a federal investigation of Honda. CAS found evidence that Honda had not been properly filing mandatory early warning reports.
NHTSA opened an investigation into the claims in November 2014.
Federal law requires manufacturers to submit those reports every three months to help the government track actual or potential safety problems with vehicles. The early warning reports are supposed to include the following:
- Incidents involving a death or injury.
- Data on property damage claims.
- Consumer complaints.
- Warranty claims.
- Field reports and copies of field reports involving specified vehicle components.
- Data concerning incidents involving a fire or a rollover crash.
NHTSA says Honda will pay one $35 million penalty for failing to report 1,729 death and injury claims for a period of 11 years. The second penalty of $35 million is due to Honda's failure to report warranty claims and claims under customer satisfaction campaigns for a period of 11 years.
Honda also agreed to let the government babysit the automaker so it follows federal regulations.
NHTSA is bragging about the fact it issued more civil penalties in 2014 than it did in the previous 43 years combined. However, the agency didn't say why it took them 11 years to finally penalize Honda or why it took prodding from an outside organization (CAS) to open an investigation into Honda's failures.
NHTSA further failed to say why it issued more fines in 2014 than in the previous 43 years. Hint: The safety agency took a beating from Congress for sitting on the sidelines for over 10 years while defective GM ignition switches were killing and injuring people.