Remember, not all memorable music needs to be licensed. Honda’s recent launch spot for their Insight hybrid uses a new arrangement of the Harry D. Loes composition “Let It Shine”. While the composition is in the public domain the recording is new, which means it is subject to copyright. The new arrangement by Berend Dubbe and Gwen Thomas has most certainly been registered with the copyright office as well.
That being said, Honda no doubt saved a considerable amount of licensing dollars by putting their money into the new arrangement and recording, while avoiding a licensing deal for the original composition.