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Largest Auto Safety Fine in U.S. History: Honda to Pay $70M

Honda has agreed to pay a $70 million fine for failing to properly disclose more than 1,700 reports of deaths, injuries, and other incidents to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as required by federal law.

The fine is the largest auto safety fine in U.S. history, reports The Detroit News. The unreported incidents date back as far as 2003, and include eight reports of injuries or death involving the Takata airbag inflators that have led the carmaker to recall more than 9 million vehicles since 2008.

What led to this record-setting fine against Honda?

Problem First Disclosed in November

Honda disclosed the potential violations in November, blaming technical and data entry problems for the unreported incidents.

Under the federal Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act, carmakers are required to submit quarterly reports including information on incidents involving death or injury, the number of property damage claims, consumer complaints, warranty claims, and field reports.

Honda was fined the maximum $35 million for each of its two violations of the TREAD Act. In addition to the fine, Honda has agreed to submit written reports to NHTSA detailing its efforts to implement required changes to its reporting system every 60 days for the next year and submit to a third party audit of its reporting system.

In a press release, Honda North America Inc. Executive Vice President Rick Schostek promised to "to fully cooperate with NHTSA to achieve greater transparency and to further enhance our reporting practices."

Largest Auto Safety Fine in U.S. History: Honda to Pay $70M by FindLaw