Posted on Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
A recent audit revealed that Honda failed to report 1729 injuries or deaths directly related to design flaws or manufacturing errors in their vehicles, Car and Driver reported on November 25.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began requiring mandatory accident reports in 2000 to increase oversight and to potentially identify any distressing patterns of performance failures. Honda only reported 900 incidents from 2003 to 2014. The executive vice president of Honda attributed the underreporting to a data entry error, noting that the 1729 missing case reports did not have dates entered in the appropriate field. However, some critics like Allan J. Kam, a former NHTSA lawyer, believe this to be an intentional and systematic cover-up.
Honda will likely face severe fines, especially in light of other recent, high-profile reporting mismanagements. Like Honda, GM, Takata, and Trinity Industries have been accused of covering up major safety concerns regarding faulty ignition switches, airbags, and guardrail heads, respectively.