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From Products Liability Law Daily, March 13, 2015

Honda launches ad campaign aimed at improving customer response to recalls

By Pamela C. Maloney, J.D.

Honda kicked-off a voluntary consumer information advertising campaign urging Honda and Acura owners to check for open recalls and safety improvement campaigns immediately, 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 and focuses on the 11 states and U.S. territories that have been identified by Honda as representing the greatest risk to affected owners.

Advertising campaign. The consumer information campaign includes a multi-million dollar advertising push that will begin on Monday, 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. Examples are available for download at hondanews.com.

The geographic areas prioritized by Honda have been expanded from 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 humid conditions over extended periods of time.

Remedy process. 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 stated that it has taken significant actions to accelerate the pace of airbag inflator repairs, including securing agreements with two additional inflator suppliers, and the company 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 has pledged to accommodate their needs at no charge.

Contact information. 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 dealer as soon as possible. Honda owners can check their vehicles' recall status at www.recalls.honda.com or by calling 1-800-999-1009, option 4. Acura owners can check their vehicles' recall status at www.recalls.acura.com or by calling 1-800-382-2238, option 4.

Companies: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

MainStory: TopStory MotorVehiclesNews MotorEquipmentNews

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