Honda Forced to Pay Record $70 Million for Underreporting Injuries

By Sophie Williams

Recently a record $70 million fine was levied on Honda Motor by safety regulators in the United States-the largest ever imposed on an automaker by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Honda has acknowledged what is the basis for the fine — that it clearly underreported critical accidents involving its cars to the United States government for more than a decade.  Last fall, Honda disclosed that it had failed to account nearly two-thirds of the 2,600 notices of injuries or deaths in the United States that it obtained from 2003 through 2014.

The fine was twice the size of a penalty imposed by the highway safety agency against General Motors last year over its delayed response to ignition switch defects linked to at least 13 deaths.

Automakers are required to report such information under a 14-year-old U.S. law, and Honda’s breaches may have hindered the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ability to swiftly recognize vehicle flaws.

Rule Proposed Requiring Electronic Stability Systems on Large Vehicles

By Amber Stanford

May 17, 2012 – This week, a new federal motor vehicle standard has been proposed by US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the first time ever. It would require all large vehicles to equip an electronic stability control (ESC) system. Research shows this technology could prevent up to 56 percent of the rollover crashes each year, which are the deadliest, and another 14 percent of loss-of-control crashes.

“The Department of Transportation and NHTSA have long recognized the potential impact of stability control technology in reducing deaths and serious injuries that result from rollover crashes,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “The proposal is a major step forward to improving the safety of large commercial trucks, motorcoaches, and other large buses.”

Currently, the ESC Systems are available on typical passenger vehicles and have proven to be very successful in preventing rollovers. This success is a large part of why it is already a requirement on cars and light-duty trucks beginning with model year 2012. NHTSA estimates that a standard requiring ESC on the nation’s large trucks and large buses would prevent up to 2,329 crashes, eliminate an estimated 649 to 858 injuries, and prevent between 49 and 60 fatalities a year.