Making big auto companies self-report to the government fatal accidents and injuries caused by their vehicles is kind of like having the fox report to the farmer how many hens he ate. The fox is likely to under-report.
Same with Honda. And as a result, the “farmer” (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — our top federal auto safety agency) has fined Honda a record $70 million for its gross under-reporting.
The penalty is double the one slapped on General Motors just last year for being slow to identify safety problems.
Honda ran afoul of the law by failing to report hundreds of death and injury claims as well as certain warranty and other claims. This mandatory self-reporting helps regulators identify safety defects, which in turn helps them decide on recalls to save our lives. Honda’s lack of reporting put its customers’ lives on the line.
But who cares? Big business is all about making money, not saving lives, right? When the fox is hungry, what difference do a few hens make?
Will Honda continue to under-report fatalities, injuries and warranty claims? Or will the fine slapped on them – the largest ever – act as a deterrent? In my opinion, not likely. What’s a measly $70,000,000 to a multi-billion dollar global company like Honda? A drop in the bucket. A slap on the wrist. Choose your metaphor.
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Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com Central and Syracuse Car Accident Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.