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August 25, 2020

American Honda Motor Co., and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (Honda) has reached a settlement with the Attorney Generals of 48 states and agreed to pay $85.1 million to resolve allegations of failing to disclose certain airbag safety failures to regulators and ­­­customers of Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United States.  According to the complaint, Honda engineers were aware that the propellant used in Takata-manufactured airbags—used in Honda and Acura vehicles since 2001—could burn aggressively, cause the inflator to burst, and ultimately harm drivers and passengers, yet continued to represent that its cars were safe even as it began recalling affected vehicles in 2008.  Although the company eventually recalled approximately 12.9 million vehicles, the recalls came too late and the failures resulted in at least 14 deaths and over 200 injuries nationwide.  AG CA; AG FL; AG NY; AG GA

October 19, 2017

California announced a $120 million multistate settlement with General Motors Company (GM) over allegations that the company concealed safety issues related to defective ignition switches in GM vehicles. California will be receiving over $7 million. The settlement, reached among the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia and GM, concludes a multistate investigation into the auto manufacturer’s failure to disclose in a timely manner known safety defects associated with unintended key-rotation and/or ignition-switch related issues in several models and model years of GM vehicles. CA

February 27, 2017

Tokyo-based Takata Corporation pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company’s conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators.  According to admissions made during the course of the guilty plea, Takata carried out a scheme to defraud its customers and auto manufacturers by providing false and manipulated airbag inflator test data that made the performance of the company’s airbag inflators appear better than it actually was.  Even after the inflators began to experience repeated problems in the field, Takata executives continued to withhold the true and accurate inflator test information and data from their customers. DOJ

January 28, 2016

General Motors Company, Jim Koons Management and Lithia Motors Inc. have agreed to settle separate FTC administrative complaint allegations that each touted how rigorously they inspect their cars, yet failed to disclose that some of the used cars they were selling were subject to unrepaired safety recalls. Jim Koons Management, which has 15 dealerships in the Mid-Atlantic region, and Oregon-based Lithia Motors Inc., which has more than 100 stores in the West and Midwest, are two of the nation’s largest used car dealers. FTC

September 17, 2015

Detroit-based auto maker General Motors entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with a host of federal regulators to settle criminal and civil charges of failing to disclose a deadly safety defect in its cars relating to the ignition switch.  Under the agreement, GM will pay $900 million and have an independent monitor appointed to oversee GM’s reporting of safety Issues and public statements.  Whistleblower Insider

March 19, 2014

Toyota agreed to pay $1.2B to resolve allegations of criminal wire fraud for misleading consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements about two safety issues affecting its vehicles which caused a type of unintended acceleration. It is the largest penalty of its kind ever imposed on an automotive company. DOJ

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