Honda is being fined a record-setting $70 million for under reporting deaths and injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the fine is because Honda did not report 1,729 death and injury claims over the past decade. Additionally, Honda under-reported customer warranty claims and they did not submit early warnings about potential safety issues.
The NHTSA is usually limited to $35 million fines, but in this case they doubled up, fining Honda $35 million for the death and injury claims and another $35 million for warranty and dissatisfaction claims. In addition to the fines, Honda will now be audited to ensure regulatory compliance and are also required to add annual employee training on reporting requirements.
Is the $70 million NHTSA fine significant enough to Honda, which earned more than $100 billion last year? Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, doesn’t think so. He urges the Department of Justice to further investigate Honda. The Justice Department can open a criminal investigation with billion-dollar fines. As Ditlow told NPR, “That’s an amount of money that’s enough to make even the largest auto company sit-up.”