Our Perspectives: Takata Inflator Recall Update
October 8, 2015 – Honda is making steady progress in our continued effort to reach as many customers affected by Takata airbag inflator recalls as possible, and to rapidly repair their vehicles. Yet, with so many customers still needing to bring their vehicles in for repair, we continue to initiate new outreach activities.
In recent months, Honda and Acura dealers across the United States have replaced upwards of 24,000 Takata airbag inflators on a daily basis. In total, more than 3.5 million defective Takata inflators have now been replaced.
As of October 5, our national recall repair completion rate stands at 38.6%. Moreover, in high absolute humidity zones, areas believed to pose the greatest risk of inflator rupture, our recall repair completion rate is 41%.*
To put these numbers in context, we recently analyzed 14 different recall campaigns with a combined volume of more than eight million vehicles. And while we see completion rates of up to 80 percent for vehicles in the first year of ownership, we found that the percentage declines with each passing year, to around 33 percent in the 9th and 10th year of ownership. So, considering the scale of this recall and the age of the vehicles involved, we are making good progress.
But with millions of vehicles still in need of repair, we must do more. And with additional replacement inflator supplies from Daicel, Autoliv and TRW now readily available, we are well positioned to manage incoming demand.
By the end of July, at least one mailed notification, and in many cases several, had been sent to each and every registered owner of affected Honda and Acura vehicles in the United States. We’ve also made millions of direct and automated phone calls, in addition to a myriad of other outreach actions.
Despite the risks involved, experience has shown us that many customers, particularly owners of older model vehicles, do not always respond to these calls-to-action. So, to continuously reinforce the need to act, we are consistently looking for and using creative strategies to reach customers, including the following:
• This week, we initiated a new round of print, digital and radio advertising in select, test markets. The goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts to rapidly raise mass awareness, locally.
• We have found that social media is an effective way to raise awareness, as users comment and share posts with their friends and family members who drive affected vehicles. So, we are in the process of initiating a new wave of sponsored, customized Facebook posts targeting individual affected owners that mention the model owned by each identified user.
• Honda Customer Relations continues to respond quickly to thousands of customer questions and concerns each day. In October, Honda’s Customer Service Twitter account (@HondaCustSvc) changed its banner image to raise attention to Takata airbag inflator recalls, and pinned a Tweet explaining how to quickly check a vehicle for open recalls online.
Across Honda, we’ve mobilized and provided nearly 30,000 U.S. associates with materials to help them raise awareness among their own friends and family. This campaign has resulted in a significant number of additional repairs to date.
With the understanding that word of mouth communication is effective, please join us in urging the public to continuously check their vehicles for open recalls, and if necessary, to take immediate action to complete the repair.
Bruce T. Smith
Senior Vice President
Parts, Service, Technical, Export & Auto Operations
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
An important note: Honda continues to urge owners of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls to get their vehicles repaired at an authorized dealership as soon as possible. The authorized dealership will make appropriate repairs at no charge to the customer. If there is a delay in repairing an affected vehicle, Honda and Acura dealers are authorized to provide a free loaner or rental vehicle until the recall repair can be completed. Honda and Acura owners can check their vehicles’ recall status at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com or by calling (888) 234-2138.
Summary of Affected Honda & Acura Models (certain specific vehicles only):
• 2001-2007 Honda Accord
• 2001-2005 Honda Civic
• 2002-2006 Honda CR-V
• 2003-2011 Honda Element
• 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
• 2003-2008 Honda Pilot
• 2006 Honda Ridgeline
• 2003-2006 Acura MDX
• 2002-2003 Acura TL
• 2003 Acura CL
• 2005 Acura RL
*Florida; Hawaii; Georgia; Alabama; Louisiana; Mississippi; Texas; South Carolina; California; North Carolina; Arkansas; Saipan; American Samoa; the U.S. Virgin Islands; Puerto Rico.