Over the course of the last year, GM has been at the center of a fire storm of controversy due to unreported defective car parts. This past week another auto giant was fined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These hefty civil fines may lead some to question the safety of the auto maker that is renowned for the safety of its vehicles.
Honda must pay a total of $70 million in civil fines. A congressional cap limits how much the Administration can recover. Therefore Honda will only have to pay $35 million of the fines. At the heart of the problem is a failure to report warranty claims, deaths and injuries as required by the federal government. One of the civil penalties is due to a failure to report almost 2,000 death and injury claims from 2003 to 2014. Honda also did not submit early warning reports to identify potential safety issues. The auto giant must now create written procedures for compliance with EWR.
The NHTSA reports that 2014 was a record year for fines. A whopping $126 million in civil penalties were handed out to various companies. In that one year, the Administration collected more money than it had collected during its 43 year history. This is a sign to automakers that product liability violations will not be swept under the rug. The safety of the American public will not be compromised.
Any consumer that has been injured by a defective product may seek to file a product liability claim. The state of Louisiana allows injured consumers to recover compensation for losses from negligent manufacturers.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “U.S Department of Transportation Fines Honda $70 Million for Failing to Comply with Laws That Safeguard the Public,” Jan. 8, 2015