Honda admits failing to report 1,729 deaths, injuries to U.S. regulators
Honda is admitting that it failed to report more than 1,700 injury and death claims about its vehicles to U.S. safety regulators, a violation of federal law.
The Japanese automaker, in statements issued Monday, also said it became aware of the omissions in 2011, yet it took about three years to take action.
The company said it filed documents detailing the lapses on Monday with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which had demanded an explanation on Nov 3. The agency said at the time that Honda may have failed to report incidents related to air bags made by Takata Corp as well as other defective parts. Honda has recalled more than 5 million vehicles in the U.S. since 2008 to fix a potentially fatal defect in air bags made by Japanese auto supplier Takata. The air bag inflators can rupture after a crash and injure occupants with shards of metal.
Honda blamed the lapses on inadvertent data entry and computer programming errors, as well as a misinterpretation of the federal TREAD act, a law passed in 2000 requiring faster reporting of deaths, injuries and safety defects by automakers. Under the law, automakers must report each quarter any claims they receive alleging that defective vehicles or parts caused a death or injury.
But Honda said it did not report 1,729 death and injury claims from July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2014. During that 11-year period, the company only reported 1,144 claims, it said in statements. The numbers are the result of an audit conducted by the law firm of Bowman and Brooke that began on Sept 23.