A third-party audit, ordered by federal safety regulators, reveals that Honda under-reported deaths and injuries involving its vehicles for 11 years in violation of federal law.
In a released statement, Honda said the audit identified 1,729 instances of under-reporting written claims or notices concerning injuries or deaths from July 1, 2003, through June 30. The company attributed the discrepancy to “various errors, including errors related to data entry and computer coding.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered the independent audit in September, after investigation of the Takata air bag defects raised questions about Honda’s compliance with the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act.
In effect since November 2000, the TREAD Act includes provisions requiring automakers to report to NHTSA information about injuries and deaths linked to their vehicles. The TREAD Act also mandates that manufacturers provide data about paid warranty claims, property damage claims, customer complaints and field reports. The goal of these early-warning reporting requirements is to help NHTSA more readily identify trends that suggest a vehicle defect posing a safety threat.
NHTSA, now reviewing Honda’s report on the audit’s findings, is expected to impose a major fine for the violation.
“Honda takes these findings extremely seriously,” said Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America Inc. “We are taking immediate corrective action, and we continue to fully cooperate with NHTSA to resolve this matter.”