Honda has been slapped with a total of $70 million in civil fines by safety regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to comply with federal laws intended to protect the public. As the NHTSA press release announcing these fines has explained, NHTSA officials issued two $35 million fines to Honda (the maximum allowable fines at this time), with:
One being for Honda’s failure to report more than 1,700 death and injury claims from 2003 through 2014 to federal authorities at the NHTSA
- The other being for Honda’s failure to report various warranty claims to the NHTSA for the same time period.
As U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has stated in relation to these fines:
Honda and all of the automakers have a safety responsibility they must live up to – no excuses… last year alone, we issued more fines than in NHTSA’s entire history. These fines reflect the tough stance we will take against those who violate the law and fail to do their part in the mission to keep Americans safe on the road.
A Closer Look at How Honda Violated Federal Law
According to the TREAD Act and other federal statutes, automakers are legally obligated to submit comprehensive “early warning reports” (EWRs) to the NHTSA to alert regulators of potential safety concerns, issues or problems with their vehicles. As part of this obligation, automakers are specifically required to:
- Submit quarter reports that include detailed information regarding vehicle production
- Report any and all incidents related to deaths or injuries
- Submit aggregate date on claims related to warranties, consumer complaints and property damage
- Submit detailed field reports related to vehicle fires, rollovers, etc.
Honda reportedly failed to comply with all of these requirements related to EWRs.
Additional Penalties Honda Faces
Along with having to pay $70 million in civil fines, Honda will also reportedly have to comply or follow through with the following to regain a good standing with federal safety regulators:
- Comply with all NHTSA requirements outlined in the Consent Order, dated December 29, 2014
- Develop written protocols for getting into and maintaining compliance with federal EWR requirements
- Train the necessary personnel at least once per year on compliance-related issues and protocols
- Submit to at least two audits overseen by a third-party auditor to ensure compliance with all federal reporting obligations for automakers.
Contacting a Denver Car Accident Lawyer at the Cederberg Law Firm
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