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Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability Documentation

Non-Reporting By The Numbers

The United States Congress enacted a piece of legislation in 2000 titled The Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability Documentation (TREAD). The law came out of the Firestone tire and Ford Explorer era during which many Americans were seriously injured or killed as a result of poorly fitted tires. The purpose was to allow for Congressional monitoring of vehicle manufacturers by requiring the manufacturers to report safety recalls, injuries, or deaths in which their products were involved to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The TREAD Act was incorporated into the already existing Nationals Traffic and Motor Safety Act of 1966 and provided for criminal penalties for vehicle manufacturers who violate the new provisions.

Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability Documentation              

One thousand, seven hundred and twenty nine. This is the number of death and injury claims that car manufacturer Honda was aware of and failed to report to the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). The TREAD act mandates that manufacturers, such as Honda, submit these reports to the NHTSA as a mechanism to monitor potential recalls. The act refers to these reports as “early warning reports.” The EWR’s that Honda was required to file would include production information, an accident in which there was a death or injury, property damage claims, warranty claims, field reports, and consumer complaints. These reports are used by the NHTSA to determine whether a safety defect or trend exists and whether a recall may be necessary. Honda failed to file 1,729 death and injury claims involving their vehicles.


Thirty five million dollars. This is the number Honda was fined by the NHTSA in civil penalties – twice. Honda received two separate fines of $35 million for a grand total of $70 million. The Secretary of United States Department of Transportation, Anthony Foxx stated that fines such as those given to Honda are important to penalize those who jeopardize Americans’ safety on our roads. “These fines reflect the tough stance we will take against those who violate the law and fail to do their part in the mission to keep Americans safe on the road.” Last year the NHTSA issued more fines in civil penalties than it had done in its previous 43 years of existence. In 2014 a total of $126 million in civil penalties were issued by the NHTSA. In addition to the financial penalties, Honda has also been ordered to allow for NHTSA oversight as laid out in a recently finalized consent order.


Transportation Recall EnhancementSeven. This is the number of other companies that faced civil penalties in 2014 for failure to comply with NHTSA laws. The highest fine on the list by far is the $70 million bill sent to Honda. The next highest rang up at $35 million. The lowest was issued to Chapman Chevrolet and totaled $50,000.00. These companies include:

  • Gwinnett Place Nissan
  • Ferrari S.P.A. and Ferrari North America
  • Chapman Chevrolet LLC
  • Hyundai Motor America
  • General Motors Company
  • Prevost (division of Volvo Group Canada)
  • Southern Honda Powersports

At Brownstone Law we support the efforts of the Department of Transportation and hope these measures help keep you and your family safe this year.

Federal Appeal Lawyers In Antitrust
Author Name
Robert L Sirianni
(888) 233-8895
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