Statement by Honda Re: NHTSA Consent Order with Takata
November 3, 2015 – While Honda is still evaluating the full impact of the NHTSA consent order with Takata, we will continue to focus on the needs of our customers and make every effort to replace Takata airbag inflators affected by recalls as quickly as possible.
Over the past few months, Honda has reviewed millions of pages of Takata internal documents produced by Takata in relation to litigation regarding Takata airbag inflators. As a result of our review of these documents, we have become aware of evidence that suggests that Takata misrepresented and manipulated test data for certain airbag inflators. Honda expects its suppliers to act with integrity at all times and we are deeply troubled by this apparent behavior by one of our suppliers.
As Honda discovered this information, we made NHTSA aware of these internal Takata documents. Out of deference to that agency’s investigative authority, which has resulted in this consent order, we have not previously made any public acknowledgement of these apparent facts and circumstances.
Regarding the use of ammonium nitrate as a propellant, available data indicates that the potential for rupture of Takata’s airbag inflators arises after years in the market and as a result of long term exposure to humidity and high heat. All Takata airbag inflators in which a defect has been determined are currently under recall.
As to Takata airbag inflators now being used by Honda, the root cause analysis of inflator ruptures is ongoing, and may indicate that further action is needed. Honda will act promptly if those results indicate the presence of a safety-related defect in any Takata airbag inflator used by Honda.
In response to concerns about the performance and quality of Takata’s airbag inflators, Honda has taken the following actions:
• On a global basis, no new Honda and Acura models currently under development will be equipped with a front driver or passenger Takata airbag inflator.
• During the past year, Honda has worked to secure an increasing supply of replacement inflators from other suppliers. We continue to expand the supply from these other suppliers and in the foreseeable future we will be able to replace recalled inflators using only inflators from other suppliers. In the event of any delay due to parts availability, Honda will continue to make alternative transportation available, free of charge, to customers affected by this issue until their vehicles can be repaired. We sincerely apologize if any customer is inconvenienced by this situation.
• At Honda’s request, Takata has retained the services of a third party to conduct a thorough audit of all Takata frontal airbag inflator test data and related information that was supplied to Honda.
Honda has a sufficient supply of replacement inflators to meet the current pace of customers responding to the recall. Every day, we continue replacing affected inflators through our continuous efforts to encourage customers to contact an authorized dealer to complete the necessary repair. Our national completion rate is 41 percent and exceeds 42 percent in the region with the highest heat and humidity that has been targeted by NHTSA as most critical.
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.