Honda Australia says it won’t finish repairing 400,000 cars fitted with potentially faulty airbag inflators, supplied by third-party provider Takata, for at least another 12 months.
The massive task of replacing such a huge number of various inflators (up to 5000 per week), and navigating the complex regulatory landscape in place, has been a massive challenge for the brand’s local arm, admits director Stephen Collins.
As has been exhaustively reported, a small percentage of inflators made by independent supplier Takata are faulty, meaning deployment of the airbag can lead to shrapnel injury or death — both of which have already been reported overseas.
“We’re churning through them; there are just over 400,000 affected, and we’ve repaired over half,” Collins said. “At this stage we’re looking to increase the rate in the second half of the year as parts availability improves.”
However, Collins admitted that the recall would not be completed for another year or more, meaning affected owners of these vehicle will have to keep driving around in potentially hazardous vehicles, or ground their cars. Honda says it has no word of people doing so.
“The reality is it’s going to take another 12 months, and that’s a combination of parts supply, the supply for us is improving, and it’s also a case of getting people to come back,” Collins said.
Honda has sent “many, many” letters to some affected owners to no avail, Collins said, and added that it was working to help owners living in remote areas get their vehicles sorted. The company has a central call centre to book the fix with dealers, and a VIN check website to see if your car is affected here (see a list of affected cars below).
“We’ve worked very closely with dealers expanding operating hours, getting more technicians getting cars fixed,” Collins added, saying all 107 national dealers are often “maxed out” doing the circa 60-minute repair job.
The unprecedented global recall of Takata’s airbag inflators affects tens of millions of cars around the world from a number of brands, from Honda to BMW, Mazda, Toyota, Nissan and many more. It’s the biggest recall in automotive history.
Affected Honda Australia cars:
Honda Accord/CRV 2001-2002
Honda Civic 2001
Honda Accord 2001-2002
Honda Civic, CR-V, Jazz 2001-2003
Honda Jazz 2004
Honda Accord, CR-V, Civic, Jazz 2003-2004
Honda Accord Euro, CR-V, Civic, Jazz 2002-2009
Honda Jazz, CR-V 2005-2007
Honda MDX, Accord 2001-2006
Honda City, CR-V, Insight, Jazz 2006-2012
Honda City, CR-V, Insight, Jazz 2011-2014
Honda Civic, Legend, Jazz 2006-2012
Honda Accord Euro, City, CR-V, Jazz, Insight 2007-2011
Honda Legend, Odyssey, Accord, MDX 2003-2011
Honda Civic, Accord 2006-2011