Our Perspectives: Increasing the Supply of Replacement Airbag Inflators

Honda is fully mobilized on the recalls and safety improvement campaigns associated with Takata airbag inflators as we focus on taking care of our...

Honda is fully mobilized on the recalls and safety improvement campaigns associated with Takata airbag inflators as we focus on taking care of our customers and preventing any further injuries. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this issue may cause, and want them to know we are doing everything possible to accelerate the replacement of airbag inflators to assure that their vehicle can be repaired as soon as possible.

Our priorities today are centered on: 1) reaching owners affected by these recalls and encouraging them to contact an authorized dealer 2) increasing the supply of replacement airbag inflators and accelerating the pace of repairs and 3) working with our dealers to take good care of our customers throughout the entire process of scheduling and completing each repair. While focusing squarely on our immediate priorities, we are also engaging members of Congress and industry partners to support a new proposal that will help achieve 100 percent completion of every automotive recall campaign in America.

To reach as many owners affected by this issue as possible, we have implemented a number of measures that stretch beyond the one required mailed notification. For example, we are making automated and direct phone calls, enlisting the services of special investigative firms to contact hard-to-reach owners and preparing to reach others directly through social media. We are also working with CARFAX, utilizing their vehicle history data to improve our recall efforts, as well as adding open recall alerts to the history reports of affected vehicles. In addition, we've begun searching salvage yards to find and secure recalled inflators, so that they will never be installed in another vehicle.

To increase the number of replacement inflators available, we have successfully engaged additional suppliers to accelerate production of the needed parts. Together, increased supply from Takata, along with additional supplies from Daicel and Autoliv, will help Honda accelerate the pace of repairs.

We continue to make progress, particularly in the prioritized nine states and two U.S. territories that experience persistent heat and high absolute humidity. This geographic targeting expands on the four states and territories that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Takata initially determined to represent the greatest risk to affected owners.

When the replacement part is in stock, an airbag inflator repair can be made in a matter of hours. Depending on the vehicle model and availability of parts, it may also take from several days to several weeks to repair an affected vehicle, as demand for certain inflators exceeds supply currently coming from Takata, even as we continually receive additional parts. We expect the additional parts from new inflator suppliers, along with increased inflator production by Takata, will help alleviate this situation in the near future. In the meantime, to take care of customers impacted by repair delays, we will continue to provide complimentary loaner vehicles or rental cars at no charge.

Moving forward, we continue to urge owners of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls to get their vehicles repaired at an authorized dealer as soon as possible. Vehicle owners can check their vehicles' recall status at for Honda owners or for Acura owners, or by calling their authorized dealer.

Bruce Smith is senior vice president of the Parts, Service and Technical Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.



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