New Honda ad campaign urges owners to complete airbag repairs

(March 12, 2015) TORRANCE, Calif. —  Honda has initiated a new, voluntary consumer information advertising campaign urging Honda and Acura owners to immediately check for open recalls and safety improvement campaigns, and to take affected vehicles to an authorized dealer for free repair as soon as possible.

This new effort builds on the comprehensive approach Honda has taken to identify, locate and contact registered owners with vehicles included in one or more recalls to replace Takata airbag inflators.

"The goals of this campaign are to save lives and prevent injuries," said John Mendel, executive vice president of the Automobile Division of American Honda. "Honda hopes that this new consumer information campaign will bolster our existing and continuing efforts to reach our customers and maximize the vehicle repair completion rates associated with recalls to replace Takata airbag inflators.

"These ads are a strong call to action from our company designed to break through the clutter, grab the attention of customers driving affected vehicles, and urge that they get required repairs as soon as possible," said Mendel.

The consumer information campaign includes a multi-million dollar advert
ising push that will begin on March 16. Full-page, color advertisements will appear in more than 120 newspapers, while 30-second radio announcements will air in more than 110 markets. In addition, sponsored, customized Facebook posts that mention the specific vehicle owned by each identified user will appear on owners' timelines, in an additional effort to capture attention and encourage owners to take action.

The newspaper and radio advertisements will appear in Spanish or English to match the primary language of each targeted media outlet.

The advertising campaign will prioritize the 11 states and U.S. territories1 that have been identified by Honda as representing the greatest risk to affected owners. These geographic areas expand on the four states and territories (Florida, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Takata initially targeted based on the consistent high absolute humidity levels present in those regions.

It is believed that high absolute humidity contributes to a greater risk of inflator rupture in certain older-model Takata front airbags. Honda voluntarily expanded the scope of the safety improvement campaign to include vehicles in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and California, a total of 11 states and territories, in an effort to include other potential areas that experience consistently h
umid conditions over extended periods of time.

Honda strives for 100 percent vehicle repair completion in every recall and every safety improvement campaign it undertakes. Since initiating the first Takata airbag inflator recall in 2008, Honda has distributed millions of mailed notifications to registered owners in English and Spanish, but many vehicles included in these recalls remain unrepaired. Unfortunately, it is estimated that one-third of all recalled vehicles in the U.S. are never repaired. The problem is more prevalent among older model vehicles.

To help improve owner response rates, Honda has implemented various means of consumer outreach for recall notification and re-notification, including automated phone calls, mailing notices by registered mail and overnight delivery services, enlisting the support of authorized dealers and other measures. In cases where mailed notifications have been returned to Honda as undeliverable, Honda has engaged firms with specialized search skills and access to unique databases to locate registered owners.

Honda and Acura owners with any pending recalls should schedule an appointment with their local authorized Honda or Acura dealership. The dealership will replace the part at no charge to the customer. Honda has taken significant actions to accelerate the pace of airbag inflator repairs, including securing agreements with two additional inflator suppliers. As a result, Honda expects replacement part capacity to fully meet demand by later this Spring.

However, the current availability of replacement parts, as well as the time required to complete repairs, could lead to delays for individual customers. If a customer affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls requests alternative transportation until their vehicle can be repaired, including use of a loaner vehicle or rental vehicle, Honda will accommodate their needs at no charge.

List of affected models

    2001-2007 Honda Accord
    2001-2005 Honda Civic
    2002-2006 Honda CR-V
    2003-2011 Honda Element
    2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
    2003-2007 Honda Pilot
    2006 Honda Ridgeline
    2003-2006 Acura MDX
    2002-2003 Acura TL
    2003 Acura CL
    2005 Acura RL