Honda Australia has released a statement claiming that it is desperate for 94,325 owners of vehicles affected by faulty airbags to come forward and have the problem rectified.
The global recall involves Takata airbags which can rupture during deployment and scatter metal fragments into the cabin, potentially killing occupants. The recall has affected over 1 million vehicles in Australia and includes vehicles from other manufacturers such as BMW, Mazda, Toyota and more.
Currently, Honda has repaired 527,408 inflators, however 19 per cent of recalled Hondas have not made contact to initiated the free replacement service. Honda Australia director Stephen Collins says it is a frustrating and worrying situation.
“It’s our aim to have every affected car repaired but we can only do this if customers book their affected vehicles in,” Collins said.
“Unfortunately there are still some customers of affected vehicles who are simply not responding to repeated attempts by the company to contact them and have their airbag inflators replaced. We need to change this behaviour,” Collins added.
Honda says that most of the customers yet to make contact either do not service within the Honda dealer network or their current contact details are not known. So far, Honda has sent out over 1 million communications, including letters and text messages, with reports that some customers have been contacted up to eight times.
“This is one of our biggest hurdles; making sure we have these customers in our database,” Collins said. “We are urging customers of vehicles who service outside the Honda network to have their vehicle repaired, free of charge, as soon as possible,” he added.
Stepping up its campaign to incentivise the affected Honda owners to have the free repair completed, Honda is now sending out a graphic recall notice (excerpt, top of page) with the title “Choosing Not to Act Could Be Deadly”. Three images show catastrophic airbag failure, including a puncture hole through the driver’s headrest.
“As we continue to address the Takata recall, we hope this more graphic imagery will highlight to customers the importance of having their affected vehicles repaired,” Collins said.
Honda is also quick to assert that the service is free and only takes two to four hours to complete. It has also deployed staff from metropolitan service centres to remote areas where finding a qualified Honda service centre is difficult.
“It is our priority to address this situation right across Australia,” said Collins.
Currently, 527,408 repairs have been completed but there are still 122,971 affected inflators still to be replaced. Honda dealers are completing up to 7000 inflator repairs a week.
Customers can check if their Honda vehicle is affected through the recall webpages at honda.com.au/recall
Customer can also call the dedicated Honda recall centre on 1800 789 839 between 8 am and 9 pm Monday to Friday; as well as Saturday and Sunday 8.30 am to 5.00 pm.
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