Statement from American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Re: Confirmed Rupture of Defective Takata Airbag Inflator in Mesa, AZ Statement Date: Oct. 3, 2020

On Sept. 30, 2020, following a joint inspection, American Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed that a defective Takata driver’s airbag inflator ruptured in the crash of a 2002 Honda Civic on Aug. 20, 2020, in Mesa, AZ.  The driver of the vehicle sustained injuries from the ruptured inflator and subsequently died. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family of the driver.

Honda has now confirmed 15 deaths and more than 200 injuries in the U.S. related to Takata airbag driver’s front inflator ruptures in the field. In addition, another automaker has experienced two fatalities in the U.S. due to the rupture of Takata airbag inflators – meaning the industry as a whole has experienced 17 fatalities in the U.S.

The joint inspection also confirmed that a defective Takata passenger’s airbag inflator ruptured during the crash. Passenger airbag inflators are mounted inside the dashboard, and this rupture ignited a small fire in that area. No passenger was seated in the front seat during the crash, and no injuries have been attributed to the passenger’s airbag inflator rupture.

Honda has shared all available information with NHTSA and will continue to cooperate with the agency throughout the investigation of this inflator rupture.

The vehicle involved in this crash had been under recall since December 2011 for replacement of the original Takata driver’s frontal airbag inflator. The original Takata passenger’s frontal airbag inflator was also included in a June 2014 safety improvement campaign that transitioned into a recall in November 2014. Starting in January 2012, more than 15 mailed recall notices were sent over the course of eight years to registered owners of this vehicle before the August 2020 crash. In addition, Honda made numerous phone calls in an attempt to reach owners of this vehicle and physically visited the address of the current owner, leaving recall information attached to the home’s front door. Our records indicate that the recall repair was never completed.

The driver killed in this crash was not the registered owner of the vehicle, and Honda does not know if the driver was aware of the unrepaired recalls affecting this vehicle.

Honda currently has sufficient supplies of replacement inflators to complete the free repairs for all recalled Honda and Acura models in the United States, and we urge all owners of affected vehicles to seek repair as soon as possible.

[Note to the Media: Please include the following as you report this story – Thank You!]

American Honda continues to urge owners of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls to get their vehicles repaired at authorized dealers as soon as possible. Older vehicles, especially 2001-2003 model year vehicles, have a heightened risk of an airbag inflator rupture and pose the greatest safety risk. Vehicle owners can check their vehicles’ recall status at www.recalls.honda.com for Honda owners or www.recalls.acura.com for Acura owners or by calling their authorized dealer.

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Statement from American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Re: Confirmed Rupture of Defective Takata Airbag Inflator in Buckeye, AZ: March 29, 2019

On March 29, 2019, following a joint inspection, American Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed that a defective Takata driver’s airbag inflator ruptured in the crash of a 2002 Honda Civic on June 8, 2018, in Buckeye, AZ. The driver of the vehicle sustained injuries from the ruptured inflator and subsequently died in a hospital on June 11, 2018. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family of the driver.

Honda has now confirmed 14 deaths and more than 200 injuries in the U.S. related to Takata airbag driver’s front inflator ruptures in the field. In addition, another automaker has experienced two fatalities in the U.S. due to the rupture of Takata airbag inflators – meaning the industry as a whole has experienced 16 fatalities in the U.S.

Honda has shared all available information with NHTSA and will continue to cooperate with the agency throughout the investigation of this inflator rupture.

The vehicle involved in this crash had been under recall since December 2014 for replacement of the Takata driver’s frontal airbag inflator. Starting in January 2015, more than 12 mailed recall notices were sent over the course of three years to prior registered owners of this vehicle before the June 2018 crash. In addition, Honda made more than 20 phone calls in an attempt to reach owners of this vehicle. Our records indicate that the recall repair was never completed.

The driver killed in this crash, who was the current owner, purchased the vehicle less than three months prior to the incident. There is no requirement that sellers, new owners or any other parties inform Honda of a change of ownership, and Honda was not made aware of the ownership change at the time of the crash. Thus, Honda was not able to send any recall notices to the new owner before the tragic event.
Honda currently has sufficient supplies of replacement inflators to complete the free repairs for all recalled Honda and Acura models in the United States, and we urge all owners of affected vehicles to seek repair as soon as possible.

[Note to the Media: Please include the following as you report this story – Thank You!]
American Honda continues to urge owners of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls to get their vehicles repaired at authorized dealers as soon as possible. Older vehicles, especially 2001-2003 model year vehicles, have a heightened risk of an airbag inflator rupture and pose the greatest safety risk. Vehicle owners can check their vehicles’ recall status at www.recalls.honda.com for Honda owners or www.recalls.acura.com for Acura owners or by calling their authorized dealer.

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Declaración de American Honda sobre el retiro de los infladores de reemplazo desecados de Takata de bolsas de aire delanteras del conductor

  • El retiro involucra un tipo específico de inflador de reemplazo de Takata (PSDI-5D) que experimentó errores de fabricación en una fábrica de Takata.
  • Las reparaciones gratuitas para el retiro pueden comenzar inmediatamente en aproximadamente 1.1 millones de vehículos Acura y Honda en los EE. UU. mediante el uso de piezas de repuesto fabricadas por proveedores alternativos.
  • Honda tuvo conocimiento de una lesión relacionada con este defecto.

TORRANCE, Calif. – 12 de marzo de 2019 – American Honda retirará voluntariamente aproximadamente 1.1 millones de vehículos Acura y Honda en los Estados Unidos para reemplazar, de forma gratuita, los infladores de reemplazo desecados de Takata de bolsas de aire delanteras del conductor, que pueden romperse si la bolsa de aire se despliega en un choque. Los vehículos involucrados en este retiro se repararon previamente usando infladores de reemplazo desecados específicos de Takata (PSDI-5D) o módulos completos de reemplazo de bolsas de aire que contenían estos infladores, ninguno de los cuales estaba sujeto a retiro en ese momento. Esos infladores de reemplazo ahora se consideran defectuosos.

Inicialmente, Honda identificó un problema potencial después de un choque de un solo vehículo en el que estaba involucrado un Honda Odyssey 2004. La bolsa de aire delantera del conductor del vehículo se desplegó y el inflador de reemplazo de Takata PSDI-5D se rompió, lo que causó una lesión en el brazo del conductor. Una investigación posterior reveló que los infladores PSDI-5D fabricados en las instalaciones de Takata en Monclova, México, experimentaron errores en el proceso de fabricación que introdujeron cantidad excesiva de humedad en el inflador durante el montaje. La humedad dentro del inflador sellado puede causar una degradación acelerada del propulsor con el paso del tiempo, lo que deriva en una presión superior a la normal del inflador al desplegarse la bolsa de aire. Si una bolsa de aire delantera del conductor retirada del mercado se despliega en un choque, su inflador puede romperse, disparando potencialmente fragmentos de metal afilados al conductor y los pasajeros.

Honda anuncia este retiro para instar a cada propietario de un vehículo afectado a programar la reparación en un concesionario autorizado tan pronto como sea posible. Las piezas de reemplazo son de proveedores alternativos y están disponibles para comenzar las reparaciones gratuitas de retiro de inmediato, y el propietario del vehículo puede disponer de un vehículo de alquiler gratuito durante el día de la reparación o durante más tiempo si una pieza de reemplazo no está disponible temporalmente. La notificación por correo a los propietarios de los vehículos retirados comenzará a principios de abril de 2019. Los propietarios de los automóviles también pueden revisar el estado de retiro de sus vehículos ahora mismo en www.recalls.acura.com y www.recalls.honda.com o llamando al (888) 234-2138.

Como este retiro involucra infladores de reemplazo instalados en vehículos previamente sujetos a retiro, el número total de vehículos Honda y Acura afectados por los retiros de Takata no cambia con esta acción. El número total de infladores retirados se eleva a aproximadamente 21 millones en unos 12.9 millones de automóviles Honda y Acura que han estado sujetos o que en la actualidad están sujetos a ser retirados del mercado para el reemplazo de un inflador de bolsas de aire delanteras para conductores y/o pasajeros de Takata en los Estados Unidos. Además, aproximadamente 4,540 motocicletas Honda Gold Wing están sujetas a retiro para el reemplazo del módulo del inflador de la bolsa de aire de Takata. Ningún producto de motocicleta está involucrado en el retiro anunciado hoy.

Los modelos Acura y Honda incluidos en el retiro anunciado hoy (solo algunos vehículos específicos) son los siguientes:

  • 2003 Acura 3.2 CL
  • 2013-2016 Acura ILX
  • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
  • 2002-2003 Acura 3.2 TL
  • 2004-2006 y 2009-2014 Acura TL
  • 2007-2016 Acura RDX
  • 2010-2013 Acura ZDX
  • 2001-2007 y 2009 Honda Accord
  • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
  • 2002-2007 y 2010-2011 Honda CR-V
  • 2003-2011 Honda Element
  • 2007 Honda Fit
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003-2008 Honda Pilot
  • 2006-2014 Honda Ridgeline

Podrá encontrar más información sobre el retiro de infladores de bolsas de aire, incluida una hoja informativa detallada, en www.hondaairbaginfo.com.

*** Una nota a los medios de comunicación sobre este problema***

Muchos en los medios de comunicación se han unido a nosotros para instar al público a revisar continuamente sus vehículos para los retiros abiertos y, si es necesario, tomar medidas inmediatas para completar la reparación. Agradecemos sinceramente el apoyo. Seguimos alentando a que incluya la siguiente información en su historia, además de la lista de modelos Honda y Acura afectados enumerados arriba:

Honda continúa instando a los propietarios de los vehículos Honda y Acura afectados por los retiros de los infladores de bolsa de aire de Takata a reparar sus vehículos en un concesionario autorizado tan pronto como sea posible. Las piezas de reemplazo están disponibles ahora para todos los modelos de Honda y Acura incluidos en el retiro de los infladores de bolsas de aire de Takata. El concesionario autorizado realizará las reparaciones apropiadas de forma gratuita. Si hay algún retraso en la reparación del vehículo afectado, los concesionarios de Honda y Acura están autorizados a proporcionar un vehículo de alquiler o préstamos gratuito hasta que se complete la reparación. Los propietarios de Honda y Acura pueden controlar el estado de retiro de sus vehículos en www.recalls.honda.com y www.recalls.acura.com o por teléfono al (888) 234-2138.

Honda sigue alentando la creación de una legislación estatal y federal que exija que cualquier retiro de seguridad pendiente se complete antes de que un vehículo pueda estar legalmente registrado en un estado, lo que aumentaría los índices de realización de todos los retiros de seguridad y, sin duda, salvaría vidas.

Statement by American Honda Regarding Recall of Takata Desiccated Replacement Driver Front Airbag Inflators

  • Recall involves a specific Takata replacement inflator type (PSDI-5D) that experienced manufacturing errors at a Takata factory
  • Free recall repairs can begin immediately in approximately 1.1 million Acura and Honda vehicles in the U.S. using replacement parts manufactured by alternate suppliers
  • Honda is aware of one injury linked to this defect

TORRANCE, Calif. – March 12, 2019 – American Honda will voluntarily recall approximately 1.1 million Acura and Honda vehicles in the United States to replace, for free, Takata desiccated replacement driver front airbag inflators that may rupture if an airbag deploys in a crash. The vehicles involved in this recall were previously repaired using specific Takata desiccated replacement inflators (PSDI-5D) or entire replacement airbag modules containing these inflators, neither subject to recall at that time. Those replacement inflators are now deemed defective.

Honda initially became aware of a potential issue after a single-vehicle crash involving a 2004 Honda Odyssey. The vehicle’s driver front airbag deployed and the Takata PSDI-5D replacement inflator ruptured, causing an injury to the driver’s arm. A subsequent investigation revealed that PSDI-5D inflators manufactured at Takata’s Monclova, Mexico facility experienced manufacturing process errors that introduced excessive moisture into the inflator during assembly. Moisture within the sealed inflator may lead to accelerated propellant degradation over time, leading to higher than normal inflator pressure upon airbag deployment. If a recalled driver front airbag deploys in a crash, its inflator may rupture, potentially shooting sharp metal fragments at the driver and passengers.

Honda is announcing this recall to encourage each owner of an affected vehicle to schedule repair at an authorized dealer as soon as possible. Replacement parts are available, all from alternate suppliers, to begin free recall repairs immediately, and a free rental car is available to the vehicle owner for the day of the recall repair or longer if a replacement part is temporarily unavailable. Mailed notification to owners of recalled vehicles will begin in early-April 2019. Automobile owners may also check their vehicles’ recall status now at www.recalls.acura.com and www.recalls.honda.com or by calling (888) 234-2138.

Since this recall involves replacement inflators installed in vehicles previously subject to recall, the total number of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by Takata recalls does not change with this action. The total number of recalled inflators does rise to approximately 21 million in approximately 12.9 million Honda and Acura automobiles that have been or now are subject to recall for replacement of a Takata driver and/or passenger front airbag inflator in the United States. In addition, approximately 4,540 Honda Gold Wing motorcycles are subject to recall for the replacement of the Takata airbag inflator module. No motorcycle products are involved in the recall announced today.

Acura and Honda models included in the recall announced today (certain specific vehicles only):

  • 2003 Acura 3.2CL
  • 2013-2016 Acura ILX
  • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
  • 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
  • 2004-2006 and 2009-2014 Acura TL
  • 2007-2016 Acura RDX
  • 2010-2013 Acura ZDX
  • 2001-2007 and 2009 Honda Accord
  • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
  • 2002-2007 and 2010-2011 Honda CR-V
  • 2003-2011 Honda Element
  • 2007 Honda Fit
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003-2008 Honda Pilot
  • 2006-2014 Honda Ridgeline

More Airbag Inflator Recall Information, including a detailed fact sheet can be found at www.hondaairbaginfo.com.

***A Note to News Media Covering this Issue***

Many in the news media have joined us in urging the public to continuously check their vehicles for open recalls, and if necessary, take immediate action to complete the repair. We sincerely appreciate the support. We continue to encourage you to include the following information in your story, in addition to the list of affected Honda and Acura models listed above:

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. Replacement parts are available now for all Acura and Honda models included in Takata airbag inflator recalls. The authorized dealership will make appropriate repairs for free. 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.

Honda continues to encourage the creation of state and federal legislation that would require any outstanding safety recall to be completed before a vehicle could be legally registered in a state, which would increase the completion rates for all safety recalls and undoubtedly save lives.

Statement of Rick Schostek, Executive Vice President Honda North America, Inc. before the U.S. Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security – March 20, 2018

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Blumenthal and members of the subcommittee. My name is Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc. It has been more than two and a half years since I last appeared before the full Commerce Committee. I want to thank you for this opportunity to update you on Honda’s progress in addressing this serious safety issue within our industry and to address the critical work that remains before us.

I want to begin by saying that we extend our most sincere and heartfelt sympathies to those who have been injured or have lost loved ones due to the rupture of a Takata inflator in one of our vehicles.

The Takata airbag inflator recall, now unprecedented in its size and scope, has been met by Honda with unprecedented action. Currently, the industry has 50 million Takata inflators under recall. This includes about 18.5 million Takata inflators in some 11.9 million Honda and Acura vehicles.

During the past three years, a truly passionate group of people at Honda have attacked this issue relentlessly, with their best thinking and greatest energy, including contacting our customers more than 150 million times to alert them to this recall. Our dealers have also responded to this challenge, working in a productive collaboration with us. As a result, we have replaced or accounted for nearly 14 million of the total inflators under recall, which represents a completion rate of over 72 percent.

This is far ahead of the rest of the industry and reflects our extraordinary effort to reach out to customers, our commitment to have replacement parts available, and the work of our dealers to quickly repair vehicles. Due to our focus on taking care of our customers, we moved quickly to find and locate new sources of replacement inflators, and we have had no backorders on replacement inflators since October 2016. We also are grateful to our customers who have already responded to the recall and had their vehicles repaired. While we are proud of our team’s effort, we do not view it as an achievement to celebrate. It is our responsibility as a manufacturer.

Since my last appearance before you, six people have lost their lives in the U.S. due to ruptured Takata inflators in our older model vehicles. One of these incidents involved the rupture of a Takata inflator that was not part of the original equipment installed in the factory and was not installed by one of our dealers. Instead, it was repaired independently, with the inflator sourced from a salvaged vehicle. These incidents bring to 13, the number of deaths that have occurred in our vehicles in the U.S. related to Takata inflator ruptures.

In most recalls, companies tend to rely on one or more letters addressed to the last known address of the vehicle’s owner to provide notice of the defect. However, given the risk and breadth of this recall, we have gone far beyond that. This includes:

  • A special website dedicated to the Takata inflator recalls and make all materials available in English and Spanish.
  • More than 35 million phone calls to customers and sent more than a million text messages targeting owners of affected vehicles.
  • A multi-million dollar advertising campaign with full-page, color advertisements in more than 120 newspapers, and 30-second radio announcements in more than 110 markets, targeting 9 southern states that have been identified as representing the greatest risk to affected owners.
  • Print, digital and radio advertising campaign in select markets, including Florida’s Miami-Dade and Broward counties, one of the identified high risk areas.
  • Promoting the recall on scoreboards at Honda-sponsored music concerts targeting young people and other events sponsored by Honda.
  • Social media, including Twitter, and a customized Facebook campaign that targeted specific individuals who own affected vehicles.
  • A nationwide search of salvage yards to find and purchase recalled inflators that has successfully removed over 119,000 inflators that can no longer be installed as replacement parts in the vehicles of unknowing customers.

We want to thank those companies that have supported these efforts because, despite our request for support from insurance companies and others who are in regular communication with affected customers, the challenge of reaching owners has been left largely to the automakers.

Another unique and important initiative Honda took was based on a relationship that was formed during my first appearance before this committee on November 20, 2014. Just prior to the hearing, I had the humble honor to meet Stephanie Erdman, who was the victim of a Takata airbag inflator rupture in one of our vehicles and sustained serious injuries. What began with an awkward conversation evolved into a joint effort to help save the lives of others.

First, we co-authored an op-ed commentary to encourage legislative action on an important opportunity to increase recall rates. Then, last fall, we collaborated on a new public service announcement in which Ms. Erdman courageously shared the story of her accident and injuries in order to prevent other drivers from having the same horrific experience. Honda used social media to target this PSA to almost seven million owners of unrepaired vehicles, and millions of people have seen it on YouTube. I would like to share one version of this PSA with all of you.

We created several versions of this PSA, of varying lengths and content, as well as in Spanish and English. We also have made it available for use by NHTSA and automakers and other stakeholders free of charge. And a number of companies have already signed agreements allowing them to do so.

This Committee put Ms. Erdman and me together. Since then our relationship has been a unique collaboration that we hope has saved lives. And we all owe her a debt of gratitude for her selfless effort to use a deeply personal tragedy to help others.

It is critical to understand that the majority of the 13 fatalities in our vehicles were due to the so-called “Alpha” inflators, found in certain 2001 to 2003 Honda and Acura models. These Alpha inflators were found by NHTSA and Takata to have an alarming rupture rate of as high as 50 percent.

Given the extreme risk posed by the “Alpha” inflators, last year we began a nationwide grassroots outreach effort to physically locate hard to reach owners of Alpha vehicles who have not responded to our prior recall outreach efforts. This initiative involves sending dedicated teams of Honda representatives nationwide, some 550 in total, who are physically knocking on the doors of customers, already more than 600,000 times, in the effort to assist them with scheduling and completing recall repairs. An effort like this is unique, and we will evaluate its effectiveness in meeting our goals and expectations.

In total, we now have more than 400 people in our customer contact center working on the Takata recalls, and 135 of those agents are dedicated to tracking down vehicles with Alpha inflators. To be clear, that’s all that these people do, day in and day out, in a dedicated effort to save lives and prevent injuries to our customers.

Based on all of these efforts, from a population of almost 1.1 million vehicles with the higher risk Alpha inflators, only about 62,000 remain on the road to be tracked down and repaired. This represents a completion rate of 94 percent. Considering that research shows recall completion rates for vehicles in their 10th year of ownership hover at about 33 percent… and the Alpha vehicles in question are 15 to 17 years old… our efforts thus far represent an extraordinary accomplishment.

But we aren’t satisfied with this result. We are committed to continuing our effort until we replace or account for all of the defective Alpha inflators.

This recall effort has really been uncharted territory for Honda and for our entire industry. As I have noted, we have tried a number of new ideas and methods in the effort to find customers, to notify them in a way that will get their attention, and then to convince them to complete the recall.

Through the course of our efforts on this unprecedented Takata inflator recall there have been a number of lessons learned. Together with our dealers, I think we are good at repairing vehicles. But finding and convincing customers to complete recalls, especially for older model vehicles that are on their second, third or even fourth customer, is a difficult challenge.

When it comes to ensuring that customers are aware of and complete a safety recall, we remain convinced that the single most effective measure is to tie the annual state vehicle registration process to a requirement that safety recalls be addressed before that registration can be completed. This would be particularly important for vehicles that were recalled prior to the purchase of a vehicle by a subsequent owner who may not even be aware of the presence of an unrepaired safety defect. We believe there are numerous accommodations that can be made so that this requirement would not be overly burdensome to vehicle owners. While I recognize that this is ultimately the function of state governments, I proposed this idea in each of my prior testimonies because we believe it is the best opportunity to save lives.

Toward this end, I am excited to tell you that, later this week, the auto industry will announce the establishment of a new batch look-up tool that will make it much easier and faster to look up affected vehicles to support efforts to reach hard-to-find vehicle owners about an outstanding safety recall. Currently, anyone checking vehicles for a safety recall must look up one VIN at a time, which is inefficient and cumbersome. This new tool can look up large batches of up to 10,000 VINS at a time.

This new batch tool responds quickly, will be offered completely free of charge to DMVs, insurance companies, salvage yards, repair shops, new and used car dealers, and others who have touch points with vehicle owners. With this new batch lookup system, we are hopeful these stakeholders will become more active in helping to locate the owners of recalled vehicles requiring a repair.

Getting cars fixed is our responsibility. But this recall is an unprecedented public health challenge that requires unprecedented action from other stakeholders in the effort to find and notify customers. The insurance industry. The salvage industry. Used car dealers. DMV and state inspection authorities. And, given this Committee’s focused interest on motor vehicle safety, we ask that you encourage these industry and government sectors to use the new batch look-up tool to urge or require their customers to get safety defects fixed as soon as possible.

This is not business as usual for Honda. In my first appearance before this committee, I said we would do our very best to repair every car affected by the Takata inflator recall. This remains our commitment. And we will continue to dedicate ourselves to honor the relationship we have with our customers.

Thank you.

Statement from American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Re: Confirmed Rupture of Takata Airbag Inflator in Baton Rouge, LA – Statement Updated: December 20, 2017

On December 19, 2017 following a joint inspection, American Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed that a Takata driver’s airbag inflator ruptured in the crash of a 2004 Honda Civic on July 10, 2017 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, resulting in the death of the driver. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family of the driver during this difficult time.

While the vehicle involved in this crash was under recall and had never received the required recall repair, the ruptured Takata inflator found in the vehicle during the inspection was not the original inflator installed in this vehicle. The airbag module containing the ruptured inflator was originally installed in a 2002 Honda Civic and is believed to be a salvaged or used part that was installed in this 2004 Civic at an unknown point in its past.

In the effort to prevent this type of rupture of an affected Takata airbag inflator used as a replacement part in a different Honda vehicle, Honda has been searching salvage yards nationwide for the past two years to find and secure recalled inflators. This voluntary effort has removed over 100,000 inflators from salvage yards. Honda also has requested that major online auction sites prohibit and stop the sale of affected airbags.

Honda has shared all available information with NHTSA and will continue to cooperate with the agency throughout the process of investigating this inflator rupture.

Since 2014, the vehicle involved in this crash has been included in recalls calling for replacement of the Takata driver’s frontal airbag inflator. Starting in June 2014, Honda sent multiple recall notices to previous registered owners of this vehicle. In addition, Honda attempted numerous times to reach previous owners of this vehicle. However, publicly available information indicates that the owner of the vehicle at the time of the crash had acquired the vehicle in April of 2017, and our records show that no recall notices were sent to that owner in the three months prior to the crash in July 2017. Our records indicate that the recall repair was never completed.

Honda currently has sufficient supplies of replacement inflators to complete the free repairs for all recalled Honda and Acura models in the United States, and we urge all owners of affected vehicles to seek repair as soon as possible.

[Note to the Media: Please include the following as you report this story]

American Honda continues to urge owners of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls to get their vehicles repaired at authorized dealers as soon as possible. Older vehicles, especially 2001-2003 model year vehicles, have a heightened risk of an airbag inflator rupture and pose the greatest safety risk. Vehicle owners can check their vehicles’ recall status at www.recalls.honda.com for Honda owners or www.recalls.acura.com for Acura owners or by calling their authorized dealer.

 Trabajando juntos para salvar vidas

Desde un incómodo primer encuentro hasta una urgente Campaña de servicio público

Nuestra primera reunión, hace tres años, fue un momento incómodo, ya que tuvo lugar unos minutos antes de que ambos testificáramos ante un comité del Senado de los EE. UU. que investigaba muertes y lesiones ocasionadas por los infladores de las bolsas de aire de Takata rotas

El 20 de noviembre de 2014, la percepción del público y los medios era que estábamos en lados opuestos en el tema de los infladores de las bolsas de aire de Takata. Después de todo, uno de nosotros resultó seriamente lesionado por un inflador de bolsa de aire de Takata en un accidente automovilístico, mientras que el otro trabaja para la empresa que fabricó el vehículo. No obstante, hablamos sobre cómo podíamos trabajar juntos para ayudar a prevenir lesiones a otras personas.

La colaboración llegó rápido, y con un anuncio de servicio público muy personal, estamos tomando la última medida en la unión de nuestros esfuerzos para salvar vidas y prevenir lesiones. Esta nueva campaña de servicio público urge a los propietarios a completar rápidamente las necesarias, y gratuitas, reparaciones de un vehículo afectado.

La realidad es que más de 40 millones de vehículos construidos por unos 10 diferentes fabricantes de automóviles han sido llamados a revisión para realizar el reemplazo de los infladores de las bolsas de aire de Takata en el lado del conductor, del pasajero, o en ambos. Sin embargo, a pesar del esfuerzo de parte de los fabricantes de automóviles durante varios años para notificar a los propietarios, millones de estos vehículos y camiones todavía no han sido reparados; las consecuencias podrían ser trágicas.

El anuncio de servicio público comparte un momento personal y traumático que resultó en una grave lesión ocular, angustia emocional y meses de recuperación. Sinceramente esperamos que este mensaje directo y personal evite que más personas experimenten este tipo de dolor y sufrimiento, o pérdida de la vida, debido a su falla en reconocer, o su decisión de ignorar, la importancia de la reparación.

Esperamos que las estaciones de televisión de todo el país utilicen nuestro nuevo anuncio de servicio público para alertar a su audiencia sobre este llamado a revisión y que anuncien la forma rápida y fácil de verificar los vehículos.

Este anuncio de servicio público no es la primera vez que hemos trabajado juntos para aumentar los niveles de reparación durante llamados a revisión de los infladores de las bolsas de aire de Takata. Hace dos años, en las páginas de Automotive News, impulsamos conjuntamente un requisito gubernamental de que todas las reparaciones durante llamados a revisión pendientes sean completadas antes de que un vehículo pueda ser legalmente registrado en un estado, de similar forma a las verificaciones de emisiones vigentes. Continuamos creyendo que el requisito de registro reduciría dramáticamente el riesgo de muerte y lesiones que podrían resultar de automóviles, llamados a revisión por seguridad, que no fueron reparados, especialmente en modelos de vehículos más antiguos. Además, a comienzos de año, colaboramos en un envío postal único a los clientes de Honda y Acura que contenía muchos de los mensajes e imágenes importantes del nuevo anuncio de servicio público.

Existe un nexo de especial preocupación en los llamados a revisión de Takata; la investigación nos muestra que la respuesta y tasa de reparación es mucho peor en los vehículos antiguos, y la mayoría de las rupturas de bolsas de aire de Takata hasta la fecha han sido en vehículos que ahora tienen más de 10 años.

Llegar a los propietarios de vehículos llamados a revisión puede ser un gran desafío. A pesar de millones de notificaciones en inglés y español, el uso de llamadas telefónicas, campañas exclusivas por correo e incluso visitas puerta a puerta para ayudar a rastrear a ciertos clientes, muchos vehículos llamados a revisión continúan sin haber sido reparados, manteniendo el riesgo de muerte o lesiones muy alto.

Hay varias razones para esto. Cuando los fabricantes de vehículos envían por correo los anuncios de llamado a revisión, los clientes podrían no haberse enterado debido a un cambio de dirección. O, si el propietario recibe la notificación, ésta podría ser desechada por error pensando que se trata de correo basura. Algunas veces, el propietario podría tener la intención de completar la reparación, pero no reconoce la urgencia y simplemente se olvida o no encuentra tiempo para hacerlo.

Mientras que los fabricantes de vehículos siempre tendrán la responsabilidad crítica de notificar a los propietarios, todos pueden desempeñar un papel importante en asegurarse de que los vehículos se reparen. Nosotros le pedimos a todo el mundo que hablen con sus amigos, familiares y colegas de trabajo y que por favor compartan el anuncio de servicio público con todos los que puedan beneficiarse. Además, recomendamos que todos los que sean dueños de vehículos verifiquen los llamados a revisión abiertos en https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls y realicen las reparaciones necesarias en un taller autorizado.

Entonces, a pesar de que nuestra reunión inicial ante un comité del Senado hace tres años era incómoda, ahora nos encontramos firmemente unidos por esta causa. Esperamos que se una a nosotros para difundir el mensaje a sus familiares, amigos, vecinos, y colegas que puedan ser dueños de un vehículo afectado. Como menciona claramente el mensaje, hacer esta reparación podría marcar la diferencia entre la vida y la muerte.

Stephanie Erdman Rick Schostek
Stephanie Erdman es residente de Georgia Vicepresidenta Ejecutiva
Honda North America, Inc.

 

Working Together to Save Lives

From uncomfortable first encounter to urgent Public Service Campaign

Our first meeting, three years ago today, was an uncomfortable moment, coming just minutes before we both testified to a U.S. Senate committee investigating deaths and injuries from rupturing Takata airbag inflators.

Back on November 20, 2014, the perception in the public and the media was that we were on opposite sides of the Takata airbag inflator issue. After all, one of us was seriously injured by a Takata airbag inflator in a car accident, and the other works for the company that manufactured the car. But we talked about how we could work together to help prevent injuries to others.

Collaboration soon followed, and with a very personal public service announcement (PSA), we are taking the latest step in our joint efforts to save lives and prevent injuries. This new public service campaign urges owners to quickly complete the necessary, and free, repairs of an affected vehicle.

The reality is that over 40 million vehicles made by some 10 different automakers have been recalled to replace front Takata airbag inflators on the driver’s side, passenger’s side, or both. However, despite a multi-year notification effort by automakers to reach owners, millions of these cars and trucks have yet to be repaired. The consequences could be tragic.

The PSA shares a personal and traumatic moment that resulted in a severe eye injury, emotional distress and months of recovery. We sincerely hope this straightforward and personal message will prevent more people from experiencing this kind of pain and suffering, or loss of life, because they fail to recognize, or they ignore, the importance of this repair.

We hope television stations across the country will utilize our new PSA to alert their viewers of this recall and publicize the quick and easy step to check their vehicles.

This PSA is not the first time we have worked together to increase recall repair rates of Takata airbag inflators. Two years ago, in the pages of Automotive News, we jointly advocated for a government requirement that all outstanding safety recall repairs be completed before a vehicle can be legally registered in a state, similar to existing emission checks. We continue to believe that a registration requirement would dramatically reduce the risk of death and injury that result from unrepaired safety recalls, especially in older model vehicles. And earlier this year, we collaborated on a unique mailing to Honda and Acura customers that contained many of the important messages and images in the new PSA.

Of special concern with the Takata recalls is a dangerous nexus; research shows that the response and repair rate is much worse for older cars, and the majority of the Takata airbag ruptures to date have involved vehicles that are now more than 10 years old.

Reaching owners of recalled vehicles can be a big challenge. Despite millions of notifications in both English and Spanish, the use of phone calls, unique mail campaigns and even door-to-door canvassing to help track down certain customers, too many recalled vehicles remain unrepaired, and the risk of death or injury remains high.

There are a number of reasons for this. When automakers mail recall notices, customers might miss a recall entirely due to a recent change of address. Or, if the owner does receive a notice, it might be discarded in error because they think it is junk mail. And sometimes, the owner might intend to get the repair completed, but doesn’t recognize the urgency and simply forgets or cannot find the time.

While automakers will always have a critical responsibility in notifying owners, everyone can play an important role in making sure these vehicles are repaired. We ask everyone to talk with their friends, family and co-workers and to please share the PSA with anyone who might benefit. And we encourage everyone who owns a vehicle to check for open recalls at https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and make needed repairs at an authorized dealership.

So, while our initial meeting before a Senate committee three years ago may have been uncomfortable, we are now firmly united in this cause. We hope you will join us in spreading the word to family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues who may own an affected vehicle. As the PSA starkly states, getting this free repair could be the difference between life and death.

Stephanie Erdman Rick Schostek
Stephanie Erdman is a resident of Georgia Executive Vice President
Honda North America, Inc.

 

Honda Going Door-to-Door to Complete Alpha Inflator Recalls

The owner of a 2001 Honda Civic was surprised to find a “Honda Recall Pit Crew,” attending the yard sale in his driveway. But the Honda crew wasn’t there in search of furniture or children’s toys; they wanted the owner to complete the recall of the defective Takata airbag inflator in his Honda car, and save him from potential injury or death.

Within a few hours, our team had taken the vehicle to an authorized Honda dealer, where it was quickly repaired and then returned to the customer before the yard sale was finished.

How did this team of Honda associates end up in this customer’s driveway? After more than 100 million attempts to reach affected customers by conventional means such as first class mail, email, phone calls and social media, Honda decided to pilot a unique door-to-door outreach effort to reach the owners of certain older model vehicles who had not responded to multiple recall notices.

Based on learnings from this pilot program, we are now expanding the grassroots outreach effort nationwide to local communities across the United States. It is our latest initiative as part of a comprehensive effort to repair or account for all Honda and Acura vehicles with Takata “Alpha” inflators and thereby protect the safety of owners who are at the greatest risk.

Approximately 11.4 million Honda and Acura vehicles in the U.S. are subject to a recall related to Takata airbag inflator ruptures, and we are working hard to repair every one. But our particular focus is on a smaller subset of about 130,000 of these vehicles where there is a greater sense of urgency to complete the free recall repairs.

These so-called “Alpha” inflators were originally installed in certain 2001 – 2003 Honda and Acura models and have an alarming rupture rate of as high as 50 percent in a crash, according to NHTSA and Takata, the maker of the inflators. In addition to original Takata manufacturing defects, the passage of time and exposure to hot and humid conditions makes these older inflators at higher risk of rupture.

The only place an “Alpha” vehicle should be driven is to an authorized dealer for repair. This repair is free – there is no cost to the owner. If the driver is uncomfortable or unable to drive their car in for repair, we will pay to tow it (even a non-running vehicle) to the nearest dealer for free.

Through extensive research by Honda and third party databases, we have determined to the best of our ability that about 130,000 unrepaired Alpha vehicles remain on the road. That’s about 12 percent of the total Alpha vehicle population that remain unrepaired. Other Alpha vehicles exist, but are no longer in operation; these will be eligible for free recall repairs if they ever return to service.

Honda has confirmed 11 tragic deaths and more than 190 injuries in the U.S. related to ruptures of Takata airbag inflators. Honda sincerely apologizes to all individuals impacted by this issue, and extends our deepest, heartfelt sympathies to the families of those who have lost loved ones. Because of the risk, we are going after the remaining unrepaired Alpha vehicles with the grassroots campaign.

We’re assembling a team of more than 500 people dedicated to work on this nationwide grassroots effort. These positions will work in each community where “Alpha” owners live to determine the best methods to reach those owners. Many of these teams are already hard at work, knocking on doors and attempting to facilitate repairs. Combined with our customer relations team, Honda now has more than 700 enthusiastic associates dedicated to our customers and to fixing these flawed Takata airbag inflators.

But you can help as well. If you know of anyone with a potentially affected vehicle, please share this “Our Perspective,” and provide the embedded links – which instruct customers how to get their free repair. You may just save a life.

We continue to encourage all Honda and Acura vehicle owners to immediately check for open recalls at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com and contact an authorized dealer as soon as possible to schedule the free repair. We have secured plenty of inventory, so no customer will have to wait for a part.

With recall completion rates of over 60 percent for the total number of recalled Honda and Acura vehicles – and over 76 percent for the higher risk “Alpha” vehicles – Honda clearly leads the industry in the repair of vehicles affected by Takata airbag inflator recalls. Nonetheless, despite the more than 135 million individual outreach attempts we have made related to Takata airbag inflator recalls, many owners of affected vehicles have yet to complete the free recall repairs.

So, Honda is committed to seeking new solutions to reach the owners of “Alpha” vehicles until we replace or account for 100 percent of the defective inflators. The safety of our customers – saving lives – remains our top priority and we will not rest until this matter is fully resolved.

Bruce Smith
Senior Vice President
Parts, Service and Technical Operations
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

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Statement from American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Re: Confirmed Rupture of Takata Airbag Inflator in Hialeah, FL – Statement Date July 10, 2017

Honda has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the rupture of a Takata driver’s airbag inflator in a 2001 Honda Accord on June 18, 2016 at a private residence in Hialeah, Florida. The rupture occurred while an individual, who was not the vehicle owner, was attempting to perform unknown repairs inside the vehicle using a hammer while the ignition switch was in the “on” position. This triggered activation of the airbag inflator, which ruptured during deployment of the airbag. The individual died the next day from injuries sustained when the airbag deployed.

It is difficult to determine whether the cause of death in this incident was the inflator rupture, or an interaction of the hammer with the deploying airbag. While the absolute cause of death may never be fully determined, Honda now considers this to be the 11th confirmed fatality in its vehicles related to Takata airbag inflator ruptures in the U.S.

Honda has shared all of the available vehicle history information collected to date with NHTSA and will continue to cooperate with NHTSA throughout the process of the investigation.

Since 2009, the vehicle in the Hialeah, Florida event has been included in multiple recalls as well as a safety campaign related to its original defective Takata “Alpha” driver’s airbag inflator. Twelve mailed recall notices were sent over the course of nearly seven years to registered owners of this vehicle prior to the June 2016 incident. Our records indicate that the recall repair was never completed on this vehicle.

Honda continues to encourage all owners of vehicles containing recalled Takata airbag inflators, especially the “Alpha” inflators found in certain 2001-2003 models, to immediately check for open recalls and, if replacement is required, make an appointment at an authorized dealer for a free repair.

The full list of vehicles that NHTSA has identified as being at higher risk of rupture – containing so-called “Alpha” inflators – is below. (Vehicle owners should check by VIN):

Year Model Year Model
2001-2002 Honda Accord 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
2001-2002 Honda Civic 2003 Acura 3.2CL
2002 Honda CR-V    
2002 Honda Odyssey    
2003 Honda Pilot    

 [Note to the Media: Please include the following as you report this story.]

Honda currently has sufficient supplies of replacement inflators to complete the required repairs for all vehicles subject to the open recall that included this vehicle, and we continue to encourage all Honda and Acura vehicle owners to immediately check for open recalls at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com and contact an authorized dealer as soon as possible to schedule the free repair. Any concerned customer can also contact Automobile Customer Service at 888-234-2138.

More information about the higher-risk inflators can be found here: https://hondaairbaginfo.com/statement-by-american-honda-regarding-psdi-inflators-in-2001-2003-vehicles-6302016/

The following resource will answer many foundational questions you may have on this issue: https://hondaairbaginfo.com/takata-airbag-inflator-recall-fact-sheet/

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