Rockefeller Statement on Honda's Failure to Accurately Report Injuries, Deaths Linked to Its Vehicles

November 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, issued the following statement after Honda announced that it had underreported the number of deaths and injuries linked to defects in its vehicles. 

“Honda’s failure to report important safety information to NHTSA is unacceptable. Even if such omissions were inadvertent and due to sloppy data management, it highlights the need to properly sanction companies who fail to provide NHTSA with the data it needs to protect the driving public. We must lift the statutory cap on civil penalties to make clear the need for companies to better follow NHTSA’s reporting requirements.”

In June, Rockefeller introduced the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2014, which would raise the cap on civil penalties for safety violations by auto manufacturers. The bill would also:

  • Give NHTSA greater safety authority, including the authority to remove dangerous vehicles from the road;
  • Increase funding for NHTSA’s chronically underfunded vehicle safety programs by authorizing appropriations for NHTSA and imposing a vehicle safety user fee on auto manufacturers;
  • Prohibit car dealers from selling used vehicles with known pending safety recalls without fixing the defect or making the consumer aware of the defect; and
  • Promote greater transparency at NHTSA by requiring public availability of early warning data, improving consumer access to the vehicle safety database, and limiting the revolving door between NHTSA and the auto industry.