Some Death and Injury Rates to be Discussed by DOT and Automakers

Some Death and Injury Rates to be Discussed by DOT and Automakers

November, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Automotive News and Bloomberg report:

“The rate of Volkswagen’s reporting to the NHTSA database is the lowest among major automakers over the last decade, including Honda and Chrysler, the Stout Risius data compiled for Bloomberg show. To ensure fair comparisons among car companies of different sizes, the rates were calculated per million vehicles on the road. The average of 11 automakers was 306 per million; Volkswagen’s rate was 34 per million.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has said he will summon automakers to Washington to discuss the need for accurate reporting of safety defects, including the death and injury reports. The meeting is expected before the end of the year.

“NHTSA will often note the number of incidents involving injury or death when initiating investigations or working with automakers to understand whether a recall is necessary,” said Neil Steinkamp, a Stout Risius managing director who analyzed the database for missing lawsuits. “The accuracy of these reports can be influential in identifying trends that NHTSA would act on.”   See

NHTSA Withholds Fatality Rates Under Copyright Excuse

NHTSA has additional broader databases such as FARS where death rates by manufacturer are not published – but should be.  

On request, NHTSA makes available data on the number of fatalities by automaker – but not by rates per registered vehicle.  See

NHTSA claims such registered vehicle population data is protected by copyright.

NHTSA can and should bypass the copyright “protections” to carry out its primary mission to protect American motorists.  

Bloomberg has shown it can do so by making such registration data “estimates”.

NHTSA’s duty to protect Americans will be tested.  Will NHTSA continue to keep Americans in the dark on how automakers are performing in protecting their customers?



Leave a Reply