Product Recalls: Honda fined $70 million

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Product recalls involving automobiles continue to make headlines, with the new year starting where 2014 ended.

In related news, this week Honda agreed to pay a record setting $70 million fine as a result of its failure to report deaths and injuries arising from possible defects in Honda vehicles.  In addition to the fine, Honda agreed to improve its safety reporting procedure to prevent future violation of federal safety rules.

This week’s actions come as a result of Honda’s disclosure in November 2014 that the company had failed to report 1,729 injuries and deaths from 2003 through June 2014. 

“The volume of claims that were not reported – 1,729 claims – was massive,” according to Wayne Cohen.  “The fine appears to mirror the severity of Honda’s actions.”  Cohen is a product liability attorney who is also an instructor at George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C.

Cohen believes that Honda will be faced with numerous civil law suits with the potential to cost the company even more than the $70 million fine.  “The implications in the civil arena would be huge,” said Cohen.

Last year, both General Motors and Hyundai were fined for failure to issue recalls in a timely fashion.  GM’s $35 million fine was a record at that time.  Federal law limits fines at a maximum of $35 million for each violation.  In Honda’s case, two violations were cited.

Attention was drawn to Honda’s safety record after reports of exploding Takata Corp. airbags. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident that you believe was the result of a manufacturer’s defect or product recalls, contact the product liability attorneys at Clark, Perdue & List.