Failure to Report

Honda fined $70 million for not reporting death, injury data

Federal authorities levied a record $70 million fine on Honda Motor Co. on Thursday (1/8/15) for its failure to report more than 1,700 deaths and injuries in its vehicles.

Honda has agreed to pay the fine, federal officials said.

The fine signals that recalls and penalties against automakers that set records in 2014 will continue in the New Year. More than 60 million cars were recalled last year, nearly double the previous record set in 2004, and manufacturers faced a record $126 million in fines, more than any year in history.

Honda, which blamed the under-reporting on “inadvertent data entry or computer programming errors,” faced fines of $7,000 per day for each violation, a maximum civil penalty of $35 million for failure to report the deaths and injuries. It was fined another $35 million for failing to report warranty claims to federal regulators.

Honda has contended that its “narrow interpretation” of the law led it to disregard third-party reports, like those that came from private investigators or police.

Honda already has been hard hit by recalls, with close to 10 million vehicles under recall because of defective air bags that can spray drivers and passengers with shrapnel when deployed. At least five people have been killed by the bags, four of them in the United States.

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