From the Owner's Manual for my new car. Page 20:
Event Data Recorders
This vehicle is equipped with an event data recorder (EDR). The main purpose of an EDR is to record, in certain crash or near crash-like situations ... data that will assist in understanding how a vehicle's systems performed. The EDR is designed to record data related to vehicle dynamics and safety systems for a short period of time, typically 30 seconds or less. The EDR in this vehicle is designed to record such data as:
• How various systems in your vehicle were operating;
• Whether or not the driver and passenger safety belts were buckled/fastened;
• How far (if at all) the driver was depressing the accelerator and/or brake pedal; and
• How fast the vehicle was traveling.
These data can help provide a better understanding of the circumstances in which crashes and injuries occur. NOTE: EDR data are recorded by your vehicle only if a non-trivial crash situation occurs; no data are recorded by the EDR under normal driving conditions and no personal data (e.g., name, gender, age, and crash location) are recorded. However, other parties, such as law enforcement, could combine the EDR data with the type of personally identifying data routinely acquired during a crash investigation.
To read data recorded by an EDR, special equipment is required, and access to the vehicle or the EDR is needed. In addition to the vehicle manufacturer, other parties, such as law enforcement, that have the special equipment, can read the information if they have access to the vehicle or the EDR.
The data belongs to the vehicle owner and may not be accessed by anyone else except as legally required or with the permission of the vehicle owner.
-- (c) 2012 Honda Motor Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.