Friedman said NHTSA also is deciding how to respond to Honda’s recent admission that it neglected to report 1,729 potentially defect-related crashes involving deaths and injuries over the past decade.
Honda could be fined as much as $35 million for the failures, which it attributed to data-entry and computer-coding errors. A small number of the crashes related to Takata airbag ruptures.
“They’ve already basically admitted their guilt,” Friedman said. “We will hold them accountable to the full extent of the law.”
Friedman called on other automakers to audit their crash-report filings to ensure they have not made similar omissions.
Schostek acknowledged that the scope of Honda’s failure is “difficult to comprehend” but said it was not intentional.
“It is unfortunate and, yes, inexcusable,” he said. “But we view this as a management responsibility, and we are taking actions to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”