Honda Australia’s service department is working overtime to replace 600,000 of its potentially faulty airbag inflators made by external supplier Takata, but still has the best part of a year to go before all relevant vehicles get new components.
For those out of the loop, the Takata saga has been the biggest auto recall ever, involving tens of millions of potentially lethal exploding airbag inflators sold worldwide in cars made by Honda, BMW, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan and more.
As the worst-affected brand caught up in the issue locally, Honda Australia has had to put in place many new internal strategies to fix the mess as quickly as possible, but despite its best efforts, it’s a long and very expensive process.
“The last number of months our dealers have been changing over on average about 7000 airbags inflators a week, peaking at 10,000 a week,” Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said this week, with each job taking around 45 minutes.
The total job is about 600,000 airbag inflators on 450,000 cars, with Honda’s local team about half-way through. At the current rate of 7000 inflators a week, it’ll be the best part of a year before the job is finished, provided Honda can track all owners down.
Some of the affected cars are well over 10 years old, though Honda Australia is talking to the state registration authorities to work out how many are no longer on the roads. No cases of injury or death have been recorded in Australia due to dodgy inflators — yet.
In total there are about 15 different recalls operating parallel to each other, and Honda’s warehouse near Melbourne airport is bursting at the seams with parts from Japan.
Honda Australia has also been funding a 24-person call centre devoted to recall enquiries since April, and has a public VIN checker that’ll tell you if your vehicle needs new inflators (see list below also for an idea).
Despite the enormity of the task at hand, Collins said the Takata issue had been less taxing on Honda’s internal staff than the 2011 Thai floods, which put the factory that made 80 per cent of the vehicles sold here under 8-feet of water.
Read the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s page on the Takata recall here.
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