Honda Motor Company has admitted that it failed to inform US safety regulators about 1,729 claims for deaths and injuries linked to accidents involving its vehicles since 2003. This fact was revealed by the Japanese vehicle manufacturer in a statement issued by it on Monday. According to Honda, it has come to know about the exact number of underreported claims from a recent third party audit.
The incident made it clear that the automaker will now need to show a valid reason behind the failure in providing correct information to the country’s safety regulators. The reason put up by Honda is “various errors related to data entry” . The company has also said that it will be taking necessary steps for remedying these shortcomings.
Takanobu Ito, the CEO of Honda, informed reporters that although he hasn’t yet got hold of the detailed report, he feels that there had been several administrative errors. Ito was addressing the media at a corporate event on Tuesday.
On November 3, 2014, the US arm of the Japanese company received an order from the NHTSA, the US organization responsible for looking after national highway traffic safety; the above discussed act of acknowledgement is in response to that order. In the order, the NHTSA asked Honda to explain why it failed to meet the legal obligation of reporting injuries and deaths, particularly the ones involving airbags.
Those who are well-acquainted with the important events taking place in the automobile industry must be aware of the fact that Honda along with Japanese airbag supplier Takata Corporation has been the focus of investigations of faults in airbags supplied by Takata.
In the past six years i.e. since the year 2008, we have seen Honda recalling over 7.5 million vehicles in the United States. These recalls have primarily taken place as it was found that due to certain faults inflators of some Takata airbags could get ruptured resulting in an explosion of metal shards targeting the occupants of the vehicles.
Within just two days of sending the first order i.e. on November 5, NHTSA sent another order to the Japanese automaker. This time the order was sent as the NHTSA wanted Honda to submit documents and details related to faulty inflators and airbags.
Reports suggest that in Honda’s “early warning” disclosure data, the company failed to reveal as many as eight accidents caused by ruptured inflators (Takata products). Those accidents resulted in seven injuries and one death.