- U.S. Senators Markey and Blumenthal introduce bill to spur completion of recalls and save lives
- Airbag inflator rupture victim joins Honda in support of measure to increase recall repairs
Honda today announced its support for legislation that would require any outstanding safety recall to be completed before a vehicle could be legally registered in a state, thereby increasing vehicle recall completion rates. The bill was introduced today by Senators Edward Markey (D- Mass) and Richard Blumenthal (D- Conn.).
“Our goal is to achieve a 100 percent repair rate for every recall in order to prevent injuries and save lives, and this legislation will help achieve that. We look forward to working with Senators Markey and Blumenthal, the Congress and other safety stakeholders as this proposal works its way through the legislative process,” said Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc.
About a third of all cars and trucks recalled in America for safety defects are never brought to the dealer for repair. While newer vehicles enjoy higher completion rates when a safety recall is initiated, the completion rate is much lower for older vehicles. As a result, too many of the required repairs are never made and, unfortunately, drivers and passengers in the affected vehicles are unnecessarily exposed to the risk of death or injury. This legislation provides an additional avenue to ensure recalled vehicles are brought in for repair.
Honda first called for this this type of legislation on November 20, 2014, in testimony before the Senate Committee on Energy and Commerce, on which both Senators Markey and Blumenthal sit. Prior to the hearing, Schostek met Stephanie Erdman, who was seriously injured by a ruptured Takata airbag inflator in a 2002 Honda Civic.
In support of the new Markey-Blumenthal bill, and based on their shared concern for the safety of the driving public, Schostek and Erdman co-authored a commentary that appears in today’s edition of Automotive News.
“We are working together on a proposal that we believe will help prevent injuries and save the lives of others by significantly increasing the repair rates for vehicles recalled in America,” Erdman and Schostek write. “In the coming days, we will work together to move this proposal forward. When it comes to ensuring that safety-related recalls are completed, automakers, government and concerned citizens need to work together to protect drivers, passengers and others on the road. Everyone has an important stake in making sure these vehicles are repaired.” (A full copy of this commentary is attached to this news release.)
Honda has been taking significant steps to encourage owners of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by a recall or safety improvement campaign due to Takata airbag inflators to take immediate action to make the needed repairs at an authorized dealership. This has included millions of mailed notifications in both English and Spanish, phone calls, the use of social media, sending notices by registered mail and overnight delivery services and even enlisting the services of special investigative firms to locate registered owners.
“Unfortunately, far too many affected vehicles remain unrepaired. Honda believes that requiring the resolution of open recalls before completing registration would greatly reduce the risk of death and injury that can occur to people in unrepaired older model vehicles equipped with Takata airbag inflators,” Schostek said.
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Honda encourages anyone who owns a Honda or Acura vehicles to check its recall status by visiting recalls.honda.com, or call 1-800-999-1009, option 4, and recalls.acura.com or call 1-800-382-2238. Honda encourages customers with an affected vehicle to take immediate action to have their vehicle serviced at their authorized dealership. If a customer affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls or campaigns 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.