The Takata Recall
In a recent notice published by Honda Automobiles on April 14, 2017, began the long notice of urgency to all of Honda’s loyal customers… given the major company had to recall millions of 2001 – 2003 models of Honda and Acura vehicles. One of the company’s part providers, Takata, had produced faulty airbag inflators within the vehicles, causing over 11 deaths to every day drivers in the United States.
Making an Impact
As of the date of their publication, Honda has claimed the urge successfully to recall “approximately 17.8 million total Takata airbag inflators.” Although many of the inflators had been recalled, Honda still urges the community to spread the word of the vehicle’s malfunction. The following vehicles summarize which are equipped with Takata’s PSDI “Alpha” driver airbag inflators (Vehicle owners may check by using their VIN):
- • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
- • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
- • 2002 Honda CR-V
- • 2002 Honda Odyssey
- • 2003 Honda Pilot
- • 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
- • 2003 Acura 3.2CL
The major company has, so far, reported a number of 150 injuries in the US involving Takata’s airbag deficiency. The first reported incident was back in 2009, located somewhere in the suburbs of Oklahoma. Since then, other reports located Takata airbag-related injuries in Virginia, California, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania. As of Spring of 2015, Honda became seemingly aware of Takata’s savagery schemes. It was then apparent that the third-party company had been falsifying their data when testing their manufactured parts. Their manipulation “stemming from the company’s fraudulent conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators to multiple automakers, including Honda,” caused them to plead guilty under a $1 billion lawsuit.
“Honda is deeply saddened by the harm Takata’s wrongdoing has caused to our customers. Honda remains focused on our urgent efforts to prevent additional injuries from the rupture of Takata airbag inflators. We urge owners of affected vehicles to complete the required recall repairs immediately. These repairs are free at all authorized Honda and Acura dealerships throughout the country.”
A Helping Hand from Honda
Honda has been making sincere efforts in the repairmen of Takata’s forgery. Their policy states that anyone who possesses a vehicle equipped with Takata’s “Alpha” airbag inflator will receive the proper repairs, free of charge. Honda also noted that rental cars will be provided for the daily basis, should the repair disrupt the driver’s need to become mobile.
Replacing the Defective Part
For more than a year now, Honda will be replacing Takata’s parts with providers like Daicel, Autoliv, and TRW. All replacements, repairs, and further manufacturing of the models, will no longer use Takata’s involvement, nor parts.
Ongoing Unique Efforts
Apart from the policy-changing efforts, Honda has involved itself in a new, rapidly-growing marketing strategy. The strategy sought to reach over 103 million induvial users who are assumed to have possession of the defective vehicle. Using state registration records for registered owners with the vehicle, Honda used the data to send over 69 million direct-mailers to warn potential at-risk drivers of the malfunction. The following elements were used in Honda’s recall marketing strategy:
- • Dedicated Website: http://hondaairbaginfo.com/ was created solely for the intent of raising awareness of the defective airbag inflator part. A link to the website can also be found on Honda.com, the company’s main website. Such will include all available information on repairs, replacements, rentals, and updated statistics.
- • Phone Calls: In an effort to push the message to the public, Honda doubled the size of its very own Customer Relations team. With this advancement, millions of direct phone calls were made in hopes of contacting the possibly affected. Such calls were direct, detailing the risk of death and severe injuries. Since this is the most proven method of success so far, Honda will be using this tool to send out advanced phone-notifications of sent mailers, too.
• Text Message Pilot: As of December 2015, Honda began a text-message campaign to reach out to those affected by Takata’s malfunction, in South Florida. Since the project deemed successful, Honda has spread the campaign throughout the rest of the United States, sending up to 1 million text messages (and counting!) to date.
- • Call to Action Targeted Advertising: Following March 2015, began Honda’s multi-million-dollar advertising campaign, both in English and Spanish outreach strategies. Such included full-page, color ink advertisements on more than over 120 newspapers, and 30-second radio announcements in more than 110 market regions. This particular campaign strategy was practiced in 9 southern states in the U.S.
- • Event Video Board Ads: For two consecutive ears straight, Honda displayed an ad portraying the warning to over 60,000 viewers across the nation. The ad was found at the 2017 and 2017 Honda Battle of the Bands in Atlanta. With a live broadcast hosting the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournament’s entire performance, the stream sought to reach more and more viewers. Honda plans on releasing the ad again for their future and upcoming events, including the ones coming up this 2017. Outreaching a younger audience, Honda also displayed its ad throughout 8 stops during its 2016 Civic Tour.
- • Social Media Engagement: Honda continued to make an outreach to the community by using social media profiles. With a customized Facebook platform, the company was able to target their specific audience, implementing the car’s hazards and risks. Honda integrated their data by matching email addresses to those that were listed under their registration information or VIN number. Honda also increased its chances of outreach by creating the twitter “@HondaCustSvc,” to help further push the message to the general public.
- • Industry and Business Engagement: With associates like the major company CARFAX, Honda will be able to use the company’s “comprehensive database” to improve their efforts in recall notices. Since then, Honda is also continuously searching for other providers that may be able to help further distribute the word.
• With 160,000 Independent Repair Facilities in close contact to Honda, the company was able to distribute better word of the malfunction publications, newsletters, and other forms of displayed notice. Since then, Honda has composed a program used by all mechanics to alert them of the car’s error once their VIN number is entered into the mechanic’s local program. In event of this program, databases are receiving alerts from reported VIN numbers on a daily basis.
- • The HondaLink Smartphone App is used by thousands of Honda drivers who regularly use the app for daily maintenance and safekeeping. Since Takata’s unfortunate endeavor, Honda has updated the app to alert users of the error.
- • In further alliance with the Boy Scouts of America and the Students at California State University Long Beach, Honda has condoned good fortune and notice by distributing donations for every recall reference they receive.
- • Old Fashioned, Door-to-Door Notice: In the final display of outreach, we’ll part with this last element. Honda wants to portray its deepest condolences for those effected, and those who are unaware of the mishap. In order to fully make a statement, Honda has created a special campaign by composing a group of representatives and sending them out to certain, designated locations to spread the word of Takata’s unfortunate error. Currently, this campaign (amongst others) are still being ran to this day.
Spreading the Warning
After acknowledgement of Takata’s barbaric and manipulative alliance, Honda has pushed extreme efforts into raising awareness for the complete, general public. If you, or a loved one, possesses a car with a Takata “Alpha” airbag inflator, please contact your local, Honda-authorized repair shop to receive the necessary, and complimentary repairs.
“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 dealership as soon as possible. The authorized dealership will make appropriate repairs at no charge to the customer. If there is a delay in repairing an affected vehicle, Honda and Acura dealers are authorized to provide a free loaner or rental vehicle until the recall repair can be completed. Honda and Acura owners can check their vehicles’ recall status at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com or by calling (888) 234-2138.”
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— Jack Ter-Saakyan, Esq.
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