The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has conducted an investigation into Honda and fined the company $70 million, or two $35 million civil penalties, for “failing to report deaths, injuries and certain warranty claims to the federal government in violation of the TREAD Act.” The news comes shortly on the heels of Mark Rosekind being confirmed by Congress as the new NHSTA administrator.
In the Consent Order, Honda agreed to increased NHTSA oversight and third-party audits to “ensure that all required reporting is completed now and into the future,” according to a NHTSA statement.
The agency’s investigation into Honda’s safety reporting found that the automaker failed to submit early warning reports (EWR reports) identifying potential or actual safety issues.
“The first civil penalty is a result of Honda’s failure to report 1,729 death and injury claims to NHTSA between 2003 and 2014. The second civil penalty is due to the manufacturer’s failure to report certain warranty claims and claims under customer satisfaction campaigns throughout the same time period,” according to a NHTSA agency statement.
“Today’s announcement sends a very clear message to the entire industry that manufacturers have responsibility for the complete and timely reporting of this critical safety information,” says Rosekind.
“The actions we are requiring will push Honda to significantly raise the bar on the effectiveness of its EWR reporting program. Our ongoing oversight will ensure compliance and determine if there is cause for additional actions,” he adds.
In 2014, NHTSA issued more than $126 million in civil penalties, exceeding the total amount collected by the agency during its 43 year history, according to an agency statement.