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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Honda Hid Nearly 1800 Injuries and Deaths From NHTSA For More Than a Decade

Honda Motor Company disclosed this
week that it failed to report 1729 injuries
or deaths to the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration as required by law.
The unreported incidents, which occurred
between 2003 and 2014, vastly outweigh
the approximately 900 injuries or deaths
the company did report during that time.
The New York Times reports that this
week’s revelation comes after an outside
law firm audited Honda’s reporting
procedures at the carmaker’s request. The
issue of underreporting injuries and
deaths was first identified by a Honda
employee in 2011, the Times reports.
“Apparently, there was no follow-up,”
Honda said in a statement.
The required reports are part of Early
Warning Reporting, a system that requires
carmakers to report to NHTSA any
injuries or deaths blamed on vehicle
defects. The system was established
in 2000 in response to rollover crashes
blamed on Ford Explorers wearing
Firestone tires.
Rick Schostek, executive vice president of
Honda North America, blamed the
missing reports on “inadvertent data
entry and computer programming errors,”
noting that injury and death claims
entered without a date were omitted from
incident reports. Not everyone buys that
explanation: Allan J. Kam, a former
NHTSA lawyer now working as an auto-
safety consultant, told The New York
Times, “this is not an occasional error;
this is systematic underreporting by the
company.”
The admission could open Honda to
federal penalties up to $35 million, the
fine General Motors received for failure to
disclose defective ignition switches in a
timely manner, although lawmakers are
now considering raising the maximum
fine significantly. Ferrari was slapped
with a $3.5-million fine this month for
failing to submit the same Early Warning
Reports that Honda neglected to file,
though in Ferrari’s case the missing
reports concerned only three fatal
accidents.

Culled from Car and Driver.

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