By on November 4, 2014

2013 Honda Civic sedan

Takata is no longer alone in facing an intense federal investigation over in its airbag recall action: Honda, too, has been ordered to answer under oath for its role in the recall.

Automotive News reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a special order to the automaker on Monday to “investigate the extent and scope” of its failure to report fatalities and injuries linked to the supplier’s airbags, as required by the TREAD Act. Deputy administrator David Friedman explains:

Our focus is keeping the American public and their vehicles safe. Early Warning Reporting information is one of many data sources we rely on to spot potential defects. Honda and the other automakers are legally obligated to report this information to us and failure to do so will not be tolerated.

Honda has until November 24 to submit written responses to a questionnaire, as well as requested documents, explaining how it handles safety warning reports. Third-party information and all death and injury claims submitted to the automaker since 2000 are also under request by the NHTSA. Failure to comply would net Honda a $35 million fine.

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27 Comments on “Honda Ordered To Answer For Its Role In Takata Airbag Recall By November 24...”


  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Plead The Fifth, Honda.

    You knows nothin’.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This will turn out to be the sleeper auto safety issue of the decade, MUCH more so than GM’s ignition cylinder woes or Toyota’s throttle pedal woes.

    Honda is the tip of the iceberg. These affected Takata airbags are installed in 15 million+ vehicles globally, and possibly twice that number of vehicles.

    Watch the traceable, confirmed serious injuries and even fatalities as a result of shrapnel spewing Takata airbag deployments to absolutely skyrocket.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    This will be a sleeper issue if it turns out the cartridge is STILL not designed to safely vent a moisture-contaminated propellent without spewing shrapnel on normal deployment.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Forgive me for being cynical, I know the airbag issue is serious, but how much of the NHTSA’s zeal is traceable to the agency being called to account by Congress for the ignition lock recall? We don’t know what Honda gave the agency, or how complete it was. The feds have a track record of making mountains out of molehills when it suits their purpose.

    re: raresleeper: That’s good advice. The Japanese custom of apologizing, whether culpable or not, doesn’t translate here, where it’s treated as a confession of guilt, as Toyota found out.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      If the NHTSA’s zeal is traceable to the agency being called to account by Congress for the ignition lock recall, then at least some good will have come from the ignition lock fiasco. I prefer my regulators to protect me from things like shrapnel-filled airbags if at all possible.

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        That’s odd – I prefer my regulators to do things like actually actively regulate things, instead of just dog-whistling to whatever the latest scandal is.

        BMW used the same canisters, where’s their Subpoena?

    • 0 avatar
      Erikstrawn

      …and companies have a track record of calling mountains molehills when it suits their ends.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Honda’s Chief Safety Officer is next in line to commit seppuku on live TV, right after Takata’s.

    Stay tuned. We’ll be right back after a short commercial break.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    “Our focus is keeping the American public and their vehicles safe. Early Warning Reporting information is one of many data sources we rely on to spot potential defects. Honda and the other automakers are legally obligated to report this information to us and failure to do so will not be tolerated.”

    I can’t help but imagine Walter Peck saying these words.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    I am beginning to think that these types of recalls will become the norm going forward. As cars become more and more complicated, much as the result of continual governmental regulations, more and more things will go wrong that will need to be addressed. At some point there will probably be a court ruling, appealed higher and higher, to determine the tests for culpability and the extent and length of time for manufacturer liability. I believe this will lead to a messy future for these types of issues.

    Oh, as an aside and in the lacking common sense department, my son has a ’12 Impala and it got recalled for the ignition switch debacle. Well recalled sort of….I went by the local Chevrolet dealer to ask about the recall, setting an appointment, length of time it would take etc. They told me that they weren’t going to swap the switch, just modify the key so one could not attach a big ring with a lot of weight to it -how typically pathetic! It’s as ridiculous as the infamous ’71 recall for Chevrolet motor mounts where instead of replacing the cheap, defective mounts, the recall stipulated “cabling” the engine in place to the upper suspension arms so when the craptastic mounts finally separate, the engine won’t twist its way off of its perch and jamb the throttle wide open. Anything to avoid responsibility…….

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      “At some point there will probably be a court ruling, appealed higher and higher, to determine the tests for culpability and the extent and length of time for manufacturer liability.”

      How about limiting what a manufacturer can be sued for to WILLFUL malfeasance or negligence?

  • avatar
    olddavid

    What has happened to the culture at Honda? Were they that dependent on Soichiro’s guidance? They have lost their mojo and identity at the same time and have tripped on their d*#k at every attempt at rehabilitation. From the company that could do no wrong to the gang that couldn’t shoot straight in one generation. Time for a seance.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Bull.

      Honda’s a leader in technology and innovation. Their core competence in engines is unrivaled.

      This whole thing will dissipate quicker than one of your girlfriend’s beer farts.

      Yup. Paint me blue and call me a Fan Boy, I suppose. Sigh.

      But I speak the truth. Honda’s a killer.

      • 0 avatar
        olddavid

        I hope you’re right. The way they created entire markets for themselves and dictated the dialogue would make Adam Smith proud. But, innovation like that is spoken of as past tense. Recall the success of the F1 team the year after sale. They have succumbed to becoming Toyota re-actors, not the leaders they once were, especially in engine innovation. The partnership with McLaren bodes well going forward. V6 turbo should be a Honda strength.

        • 0 avatar
          Tosh

          Spending billions on F1 means NOT spending those billions on better road cars for us.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            This.

            It’s a grimmer, more congested and more competitive world and auto market than whenever Honda decided it could commit big bucks to frivolities like F1.

            Just make the best commuter cans you can, Honda. They’re all that matter for you because you’ll never make a go of pickup trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        tubacity

        Killer? Yes, references state 4 known deaths from air bags in Honda.

        http://www.autonews.com/article/20141017/OEM11/141019886/fourth-u.s.-traffic-death-linked-to-takata-airbags

        http://www.autonews.com/article/20141016/OEM11/141019897/third-traffic-death-in-u.s.-linked-to-takata-airbags

        http://blog.caranddriver.com/honda-taking-heat-for-hiding-deaths-injuries-from-exploding-airbag-recalls/

        And while Honda was one of 11 automakers sharing the same airbag supplier, that company in particular is alleged to have known about the problem well before the others and to have kept critical details such as airbag ruptures, injuries, and deaths involving its vehicles away from federal regulators and the public.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/04/business/inquiry-of-honda-centers-on-failure-to-report-deaths-from-airbags.html?_r=0

  • avatar
    bigbadbill

    Curious…what will CR say about all this?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Rabble!

    Rabble! Rabble!

    Rabble! Rabble! Rabble! Rabble! Rabble!

  • avatar
    wmba

    Boggles my mind that the NHTSA has decided to pursue Honda to the exclusion of the other car companies who also used Takata as a supplier.

    What makes them any more culpable for a hidden supplier defect?

    There is a complete lack of logic on NHTSA’s part at work here. Highly suspect reasoning, general thrashing about threatening all and sundry as if the case were cut and dried when it obviously isn’t, and the perfect case of a bad workman blaming his tools.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    The Honda’s affected are up to 2011 MY, to be fair, the site shouldn’t post a picture of a 2013/14 Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      So roughly 2002 to 2011 for using that contaminated explosive? Nine years of diligently cranking out airbag bombs?

      I think DeadWeight is right on the money; this is the uber Bleed & Lead automotive news topic for years to come.

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