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U.S. closes investigation into Honda’s failure to report deaths and injuries

Honda has paid a $70-million fine and over its failure to report deaths and injuries and has taken steps needed to make sure similar failures don’t happen again, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

Honda has paid a $70-million fine and over its failure to report deaths and injuries and has taken steps needed to make sure similar failures don’t happen again, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

(Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

The U.S. government has closed an investigation into Honda’s failure to report deaths and injuries, saying that the automaker has met all its obligations.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in documents posted on its website Monday that Honda paid a $70-million fine and took steps needed to make sure similar failures don’t happen again.

The government fined Honda in December 2014 in what then was the largest civil penalty levied against an automaker.

The company admitted in a consent order that it didn’t report 1,729 complaints that its vehicles caused deaths and injuries, and that it didn’t report warranty claims. A small number of the deaths and injuries were related to air bag inflators made by Takata Corp.

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FOR THE RECORD

11:57 a.m.: An earlier version of this article said many of the deaths and injuries were related to air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. In fact, it was a small number.

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The Japanese automaker acknowledged in November 2014 that it failed to make legally required reports during an 11-year period beginning in 2003. The company admitted it learned of the omissions in 2011 but waited three years to take action.

Honda also failed to report certain warranty claims and claims under customer satisfaction campaigns throughout the same period, federal officials said.

Honda agreed to pay the fines under a consent order it signed with the traffic safety administration Dec. 29, 2014.

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Federal law requires automakers to submit death and injury complaints to regulators as part of an “early warning” system for identifying potential safety defects that can lead to a recall.

The safety agency said in documents closing the investigation that Honda completed performance obligations spelled out in the consent order from Dec. 29, 2014. The automaker had to develop written procedures for reporting deaths and injuries and had to train its personnel on early-warning reporting requirements. It also had an outside party audit its procedures.

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