Archive for airbag

Statement of Rick Schostek, Executive Vice President, Honda North America before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

“Ranking Member Nelson and members of the committee. My name is Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, based in Marysville, Ohio.

I appreciate the opportunity to update the committee regarding the efforts made by Honda with respect to the recall of Takata airbag inflators since my last appearance before this committee over seven months ago.

Let me begin by acknowledging that in the past two weeks we have confirmed that two more customers lost their lives – one in September 2014 and the other in April of this year – as a result of Takata airbag inflator ruptures that have occurred in our older model vehicles. This is heartbreaking, and a painful reminder to us of the reason we continue to urgently accelerate our actions to repair the affected vehicles. But of course the real pain is experienced by the families of the victims. We sincerely apologize to them, and extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathies.

We are working very hard to solve this problem. During the past few months, we have been accelerating our efforts to repair vehicles at a level unprecedented in the history of our company.

This is a reflection of the deep commitment our company has undertaken to notify our customers and to increase the supply of replacement inflators available for repairs.

Over and above the required mailed notification to affected customers, we have pursued new and creative ideas and methods to encourage our customers to check their vehicle identification number and recall status in order to increase the rate of response to recall notifications.

We have enhanced our general recalls website and created a new microsite dedicated to this issue to keep our customers informed and to make it easy for them to check their vehicles for open recalls. And our Customer Relations department is set up to receive calls from customers seven days a week.

Honda also voluntarily initiated a bi-lingual regional advertising campaign in March to implore customers to repair their vehicles. This campaign of radio commercials and full-page newspaper ads, represented behind me, was designed to grab the attention of customers in the nine states and two U.S. 2 territories that experience the most consistently high temperatures and absolute humidity and to encourage them to immediately check for open recalls and safety improvement campaigns.

We also are using social media channels in a targeted way – including via Facebook, with good success. Let me add, Mr. Chairman, that whenever we issue a news release or statement on this matter, we specifically request that the news media help us spread the word by directing customers to our recall websites, so they can look up their VIN and get their vehicle repaired. We have appreciated the news media’s assistance with this effort.

To accelerate the safety actions and increase the supply of airbag inflators, Honda proactively began searching for alternative supply solutions to more quickly facilitate repairs of our older model vehicles. This effort led to agreements with Daicel, Autoliv and TRW Automotive to provide us with replacement parts in addition to Takata.

As a result of this proactive effort by Honda and the actions taken by our dealers, in recent weeks, we are averaging more than 50,000 repairs per week. We have asked our dealers to expand service hours and to never turn away a customer with an affected vehicle. And we require dealers to check the VIN for every vehicle that comes into their dealership. To support this policy, in February we initiated a new system that alerts dealers whenever their staff fails to check the VIN of a car brought in for service to see if it has an open recall.

We also have reinforced with our dealers Honda’s firm policy to provide affected customers with a loaner or rental car free of charge while their vehicle is being repaired or if they are waiting for a replacement part to be delivered. All dealers are authorized to make a vehicle available to a customer without prior approval from Honda. We have been actively monitoring the availability of loaner and rental cars and engaging with our dealers to ensure that they offer such vehicles so we can meet our customers’ needs.

Further, to prevent the possibility that any Takata airbag inflators under recall can be used as a replacement part, we’ve been searching salvage yards nationwide to find and secure recalled inflators. We have already identified many thousands of inflators from salvage yards that now never will be installed in another vehicle.

In some markets, we have enlisted a special investigative firm as part of our effort to contact hard-to-reach owners of older model vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls.

Mr. Chairman, for many reasons, it is particularly difficult to locate the owners of older vehicles and get the vehicles repaired. When I testified last November, I suggested that we find a way to tie the annual state vehicle registration process to a requirement that safety defects be addressed before completion of vehicle 3 registration. Subsequently, Ms. Stephanie Erdman, who was injured by a Takata inflator rupture and who also appeared before this committee last fall, joined me in writing an Op Ed in Automotive News in support of the idea of such a registration requirement.

We continue to believe that there is substantial promise with this approach. I want to thank Senators Markey and Blumenthal for introducing S.617, the Repairing Every Car to Avoid Lost Lives Act – the “RECALL” Act. I recognize that there are a number of issues about this concept that require further discussion. But I am convinced that this is the single most significant step we can take to achieve what we all want to accomplish, and that is a 100 percent repair rate. Our company stands ready to work with the Congress to help find a path forward.

Even as we look at new, long-term solutions to improve recall completions, we remain focused on the needs of our customers today. And we are fully mobilized on the effort to complete the recalls and safety improvement campaigns associated with Takata airbag inflators.

Again, I very much appreciate the opportunity to appear before the committee today, and I will be happy to address your questions. 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. 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.

Statement by American Honda Regarding Nationwide Recall of Certain Takata Passenger Front Airbag Inflators

  • Nationwide recall of passenger front airbag inflators in 2001-2005 Civic and 2003-2007 Accord will add approximately 1.39 million inflators not previously subject to recall or safety improvement campaign
  • No change to national recall of driver front airbag inflators announced on May 28

Recall pic

Honda today announced that it will initiate a national recall to replace, free of charge, Takata passenger front airbag inflators installed in certain 2001-2005 Civic and 2003-2007 Accord models sold in the United States following a recently announced defect determination by Takata. The recall will add 1.39 million passenger front airbag inflators not previously subject to either a recall or safety improvement campaign.

In its preliminary announcement on May 28, Honda stated that it would recall a more limited population of vehicles. That announcement, which was based on the specific regional nature of the defect determination made by Takata, indicated that approximately 350,000 additional passenger front airbag inflators would be added to inflators included in an earlier regional action (14V-700). However, the NHTSA subsequently interpreted the Takata defect determination as requiring a national recall and directed Honda to conduct a national recall. As a result, based on the Takata defect determination and the NHTSA’s subsequent directive, Honda decided to conduct a national recall that will include approximately 1.39 million inflators not previously subject to recall or safety improvement campaign (this includes the estimated 350,000 inflators mentioned in the preliminary announcement). According to currently available information, this results in a total of approximately 2.3 million passenger front airbag inflators now requiring replacement in this action.

Importantly, approximately 915,000 of the affected Civic and Accord vehicles included in existing passenger front airbag inflator recalls and Honda’s voluntary safety improvement campaigns (13V-132, 14V-349, 14-353 and 14V-700) will transition into the new recall. The same free repair – replacement of the passenger front airbag inflator – will be completed under the new national action.

NOTE: Today’s announcement does not alter the nature or scope of the national driver front airbag inflator recall that also was announced on May 28, 2015.

Mailed notification to registered owners of vehicles affected by this recall will occur within 60 days. The most-updated available consumer information about this action can be obtained at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com or by calling (800) 999-1009 for Honda owners or (800) 382-2238 for Acura owners, and selecting option 4.

Our Perspectives: Plain Speaking on the Takata Defect Announcement

Recall pic

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a formal defect determination by Takata related to front airbag inflators installed in vehicles from more than 10 automakers.

While the headlines that followed focused on the millions of vehicles potentially involved, regrettably, most drivers are still unable to determine if their own car is included. I would like to set the record straight about the impact of this latest announcement on Honda and Acura owners, and the actions we are taking to meet their needs.

Honda has initiated several recalls and safety improvement campaigns related to Takata airbag inflators over the past six months. As a result, the vast majority of Honda and Acura vehicles impacted by last week’s announcement were already covered by past recalls or safety improvement campaigns. In fact, many of these vehicles have already been repaired – we’ve replaced nearly two-million inflators since 2013, most of those in the last nine months alone. Thus, no new driver’s side airbag inflator recalls will be added.

We will, however, add approximately 350,000 vehicles to the existing passenger airbag inflator recall, bringing the total number of Honda and Acura vehicles recalled – inclusive of driver and passenger – to approximately 6.28 million. No Honda or Acura vehicles model year 2012 or later have been recalled.

Despite the additions, we remain committed to repairing vehicles at a rate unprecedented in our company’s history. We now have four suppliers who are manufacturing replacement parts: Autoliv, Daicel, Takata and TRW. Due to a significant effort involving our dealers, in recent weeks, we have averaged more than 50,000 repairs per week and have cut the total number of backordered replacement inflators in half, eliminating the backorder altogether for some models.

For any affected owner who does experience a delay, Honda and Acura dealers continue to offer alternative transportation at no cost. More than 60,000 such customers have received loaner or rental vehicles since May 2014.

The specific VINs associated with the approximately 350,000 vehicles we are adding are in the process of being identified, verified and uploaded, so customers should continue checking their vehicles’ current recall status by visitingwww.recalls.honda.com for Honda owners or www.recalls.acura.com for Acura owners. Customers may also call 1-800-999-1009 for Honda or 1-800-382-2238 for Acura, and press option 4. It may be a few weeks before all vehicles are uploaded, so customers are urged to continue checking.

Please know that Honda is working diligently, on many fronts, to determine a root cause associated with Takata airbag inflator ruptures. The safety of our customers remains our top priority, and we will not rest until this matter is fully resolved.

Overall Summary of All Models Affected by One or More Takata Airbag Inflator recall or SIC (certain specific models 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

Statement by American Honda Regarding Takata Airbag Inflator Recalls

  • Approximately 350,000 vehicles1 to be added to the prior passenger airbag inflator recall
  • Vehicles previously covered by voluntary national driver airbag inflator Safety Improvement Campaigns (14V-351 and 15V-153) will transition into a formal recall with no new additional vehicles requiring repair

04_Civic_SDN_EX_02

Honda will add approximately 350,000 vehicles to its recalls of Takata airbag inflators in the United States following a recently announced defect determination by Takata. However, most of the vehicles deemed at risk in Takata’s defect determination report were already subject to previous voluntary actions taken by Honda, including a national Safety Improvement Campaign (SIC) for driver front airbag inflators and a passenger front airbag inflator recall that was focused on regions with specific environmental conditions.

It may take several weeks for Honda to determine the specific list and the final count of additional Honda and Acura vehicles included in the initial recall population of passenger side airbag inflators identified by Takata, but the mailed notification to registered owners will occur within 60 days, as required. Honda is announcing this action today to encourage owners to take their vehicles to an authorized Honda or Acura dealer for repair once they are able to confirm that their vehicle is included in one of these actions.

In a blog post on hondanews.com (http://bit.ly/1KpMivT), American Honda senior vice president of Parts, Service, Technical, Export & Auto Operations, Bruce Smith commented: “The vast majority of Honda and Acura vehicles impacted by last week’s announcement were already covered by past recalls or safety improvement campaigns. In fact, many of these vehicles have already been repaired – we’ve replaced nearly two-million inflators since 2013, most of those in the last nine months alone.”

Passenger Front Airbag Inflator Recall Expansion
Honda will expand the number of vehicles affected by the existing November 2014 passenger airbag inflator recall (NHTSA No. 14V-700) in the United States to include approximately 350,000 Civic vehicles from the 2005 model year and Accord vehicles from the 2006-2007 model years. While some 2005 Civic models were previously included, no Accord vehicles from the listed model years were included in the previous action. Honda has not received any claims of passenger airbag inflator rupture in these model year vehicles. The same free repair – replacement of the passenger front airbag inflator – will be completed on these additional vehicles.

The passenger front airbag inflator recall initially has been limited to areas2 of the U.S. and its territories that experience consistent levels of high absolute humidity, based on the nature of Takata’s defect determination. If Takata or the NHTSA later determine that a defect exists in additional vehicles or in other areas, Honda will expand this action as required to help ensure the safety of its customers.

Driver’s Front Airbag Inflator Recall Transition
In December 2014, Honda initiated a voluntary national Safety Improvement Campaign (14V-351) to replace driver front airbag inflators in certain 2001 through 2011 Honda and Acura vehicles in the United States. That action was later expanded to include 2008 Pilot models (15V-153). As a result of the defect determination made by Takata, Honda will transition these same vehicles, already eligible for a free repair under the voluntary SICs, into a formal recall — with no new additional vehicles requiring repair.

Honda expects to have specific vehicle information about the vehicles added to the passenger airbag inflator recall available online, through dealers and by phone through Honda and Acura customer service after June 15. We encourage any concerned owner to check their vehicle status now and again after that date. Consumer information about recalls can be obtained at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com or by calling (800) 999-1009 for Honda owners or (800) 382-2238 for Acura owners, and selecting option 4.

Summary of models affected by one or more Takata airbag inflator recall or SIC (certain specific models 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

Honda Switches from Takata-Made Airbags

airbag imageAccording to this exclusive report from Reuters, Honda has chosen to break off ties with “embattled” Takata Corp., maker of the faulty airbags in many vehicles around the world, including Hondas.

“More than 21 million vehicles were recalled because of Takata’s mistakes,” said Bobby Maynard, general manager at Sims Honda dealership in Burlington. “Unfortunately, Honda was Takata’s biggest customers so many of our vehicles were affected. It definitely had an impact on how people view the brand, but hopefully they see Honda breaking it’s relationship with Takata as a sign of how serious it is about providing high quality, safe products for drivers.”

No one from Takata, Honda, or Honda’s new supplier, Toyoda Gosei, have confirmed these reports, but we hope it’s true so everyone can go back to knowing Honda is one of the most trust auto brands in the world for a reason.

Statement by American Honda Regarding Side Curtain Airbag Recall: 2015 Honda Crosstour

Recall picHonda will voluntarily recall 1,252 model-year 2015 Crosstour vehicles in the United States to replace one or both of the side curtain airbags, free of charge. An error during the manufacture of tubing attached to the side curtain airbag inflator may result in the improper deployment of a side curtain airbag in a crash, increasing the risk of occupant injury. This issue is not related to other recent actions involving frontal airbag inflators. No crashes or injuries have been reported related to this issue, which was discovered through quality analysis at the inflator tube supplier.

Honda is announcing this recall to encourage all owners that purchased an affected vehicle to take it to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive notification of this recall from Honda. Mailed notification to customers will begin in late-Jan. 2015. In addition, owners of these vehicles can determine if their vehicles require repair by going towww.recalls.honda.com or by calling (800) 999-1009, and selecting option 4.

Honda Expands Airbag Recall, Does Not Include Washington State

Honda is expanding a recall on airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation that may explode on impact causing injury. Last month Honda and other auto manufacturers who use Takata airbags issued a recall.

This expansion includes vehicles sold in California and brings the total number of vehicles recalled to two million. That number could rise to three million as Honda puts forth every effort to make sure its customers are safe.

“It seems like humidity has something to do with the faulty airbags, so while the recall hasn’t affected us here in Washington State yet, we thought it was important to make people aware that has been reported as an issue in other places in case they have an issue,” said Tony Carter, general manager of Northwest Honda in Bellingham. “Of course, if anyone has any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

According to this article, “The vehicles affected by the recall are the 4-cylinder-engine-equipped 2001-7 Honda Accord; the 2001-2 Honda Accord V6; the 2001-5 Honda Civic; the 2002-6 Honda CR-V; the 2003-11 Honda Element; the 2002-4 Honda Odyssey; the 2003-7 Honda Pilot; the 2006 Honda Ridgeline; the 2003-6 Acura MDX; and the 2002-3 Acura TL and CL.”