Exploding AirbagContra Costa, CA- Automaker Honda has been ordered to pay $70 million to federal regulators for failing to report nearly 2,000 accidents that resulted in injuries or deaths.
On Thursday, regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that the American subsidiary of Honda will pay two $35 million fines for violations of the TREAD Act. One of those fines was levied because the automaker failed to report fatal or injurious accidents that occurred between 2003 and 2014. The other fine arose out of Honda’s failure to report warranty claims and claim under customer satisfaction campaigns, according to the NHTSA.  Both fines are the maximum amount the NHTSA can impose in automaker for those violations.
Last fall, Honda admitted that they has failed to report 1,729 fatal and injurious accidents. This is a violation of the NHTSA’s Early Warning Reporting regulations which require automakers to report accidents which could be tied to an auto defect or malfunction. Reporting these incidents helps the NHTSA to determine if a recall needs to be issued. Honda also admitted they became aware of the underreporting in 2011, but waited until last year to bring it to the attention of federal regulators.
In addition to the fines, Honda has agreed to improve their training requirements and develop new procedures for complying with the NHTSA’s mandatory reporting requirements.
“Honda and all of the automakers have a safety responsibility they must live up to – no excuses,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a NHTSA press release. “Last year alone, we issued more fines than in NHTSA’s entire history. These fines reflect the tough stance we will take against those who violate the law and fail to do their part in the mission to keep Americans safe on the road.”
Eight of Honda’s unreported accidents involved Takata airbags which have the potential to explode and shoot metal shrapnel into motorists. Between exploding airbags, faulty ignition switches and other manufacturing defect automakers have recalled a little over 60 million autos in the U.S. alone.
General Motors and Hyundai also paid costly fines for failing to issue recalls in a “timely fashion,” according to the NHTSA. Defective ignition switches in specific GM models have been tied to 42 deaths and thousands of injuries.
When a manufacturing defect or safety issue leads to an accident, an automaker may be responsible for any resulting injuries or deaths. The biggest challenge for the victim is determining if a defective or malfunctioning auto part is the primary cause of an accident. If you suspect your accident was caused by an auto defect or manufacturing issue, you are urged to speak with a California accident attorney to determine which party or parties are responsible for your injuries or lost loved one.
Accident victims are eligible for compensation for their medical bills and emotional distress if another party’s negligence is tied to their injuries. If they want to be certain they get the settlement amount they need, they need to have a Contra Costa accident attorney on their side.
 

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