Honda has admitted that it failed to report 1,729 accidents involving death and injury in its vehicles to US safety regulators since 2003 blaming errors in data entry and an "overly narrow interpretation" of its legal reporting requirements.

"I haven't got a detailed report yet, but it seems there were a lot of administrative mistakes on the ground," Honda CEO Takanobu Ito told reporters at a corporate event in southern Japan on Tuesday, according to the Reuters news agency.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked Honda on November 3 to explain why it had failed to fulfil its legal obligations to report deaths and injuries, especially those involving airbags after Honda had commissioned a third-party audit in September which highlighted the reporting discrepancy.

Honda is already at the centre of a major recall involving more than 7.5m vehicles in the US because of faulty airbags made by supplier Takata.