US government imposes $70 million Fine on American Honda
American Honda Motor Company has been under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for violations of NHTSA's Early Warning Reporting regulation.
As a result of the investigation, NHTSA on January 8 announced that the automaker will pay a total of $70 million to federal authorities for failing to report more than 1,700 deaths and injuries in its vehicles.
Automakers are required to report such information under a 14-year-old US law. Honda's violations have hampered the NHTSA's ability to identify vehicle flaws in time.
Honda faces two fines of $35 million. First, a maximum civil penalty for failure to report the deaths and injuries and another $35 million for failing to report warranty claims to federal regulators.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, "Honda and all of the automakers have a safety responsibility they must live up to no excuses. Last year alone, we issued more fines than in NHTSA's entire history".
He added that these fines reflect our tough stance taken on automakers that violate the law and fail to play their part in the mission to keep Americans safe on the road.
According to the agency, more than 60 million cars were recalled last year, nearly double the previous record set in 2004. Also, NHTSA's penalties last year totaled more than $126 million, which is more than the total amount assessed during NHTSA's entire 43-year history.
The imposed fine indicates that recalls and penalties against automakers will continue in the New Year.
According to federal officials, the automaker has agreed to pay the fine. Honda has also agreed to increase NHTSA oversight and third-party audits in order to ensure that all required reporting is properly done now onwards.
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