Why Did Honda Pay $70 Million in Fines?
Earlier this year, Honda was found to have violated federal safety reporting rules. As a result of having been found to have violated the law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that Honda agreed to increase their oversight of safety issues, enhance a third-party audit system and pay two $35 million fines.
The fines are the maximum amount NHTSA can assess for safety reporting violations. The first fine concerns the company’s failure to report 1,729 death and injury claims to NHTSA from 2003 to 2014. Honda had disclosed the undercount in the past, stating its investigation discovered that it misunderstood what issues needed to be counted. The second fine involves Honda's failing to report warranty claims and claims under "customer satisfaction campaigns." Honda quietly agreed to fix defects on cars during these “campaigns” even when they were beyond the warranty period, from 2003 to 2014.
NHTSA, which is part of the Department of Transportation, claims these fines show it is getting tougher on automakers. In May the agency gave General Motors (GM) a $35 million fine for late reporting on ignition switch defects in Chevrolet Cobalts. Millions of cars with potentially defective switches were recalled. GM is paying compensation to accident victims claiming they were injured as a result of the defect. The switches are also blamed for accidents causing 40 deaths, according to USA Today.
Last year was a great one for the NHTSA, as the agency issued $126 million in civil penalties, which it says is a record. It claims the total exceeded all the fines and penalties collected by the agency in its prior 43 year history.
Whether you have a Honda, Chevy or other make of car that you feel is defective, call a lemon law attorney for a consultation today.