The third-biggest Japanese automaker, Honda, acknowledged following inquiries from the US auto safety regulators that it failed to notify the authorities of more than 1,700 claims of injury or death since 2003.
More than 1,729 incidents that involved Honda vehicles were not properly reported to the NHTSA and now the Japanese carmaker could be hit with the same record fine of $35 million (the maximum admitted by law) that was bestowed upon General Motors over the ignition switch debacle. According to the synopsis of the outside-conducted third party review of the procedures, Honda said the underreporting was due to “inadvertent data entry or computer programming errors” – though these “fails” spanned no less than 11 years before being noticed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not made the audit public yet, as it continues to investigate the Japanese company, but we can clearly see that there are more injury-claim omissions than what Honda reported for the period – 1,144 cases versus 1,729 (injury and deaths together). Also, the reporting problems that Honda faced only came to light as the US auto safety regulators further probes Takata Corp. airbag recalls – the ongoing scandal pointed yet again that automakers shouldn’t be trusted to diligently report to the US government about potential safety product failures.