The company this week revealed it had sent more than one million pieces of correspondence to affected customers, set up a VIN checker on its site, begun texting customers, and had even hired people to find some owners who weren't responding.
Honda said it had replaced a staggering 456,136 airbag inflators in Australia alone, but still had another 193,454 to go, spread across about 145,000 different cars.
The long-running worldwide recall of airbags produced by external supplier Takata - now in administration - re-entered mainstream media last week when a faulty unit was determined as "likely" being to blame for the first death of a driver in Australia.
NSW Police determined as much, due to what appeared to be corroded high-speed shrapnel expelled from the casing during airbag deployment.
The affected vehicle in question was a late-model Honda CR-V, and unfortunately it emerged this week that Honda had contacted the owner of the car on five occasions over 16 months, to no avail.
Takata also re-entered the mainstream this week when it emerged that many brands had fitted a minority of cars with brand new like-for-like inflators due to a production shortfall, as a safer interim step until inflators from another brand could be sourced.
A massive US study found that there was no danger from defective units for six years. The issue was the lack of communication of this issue between brands and owners.
Honda Australia says it never fitted inflators knowing they'd need another recall, though it's the only company that seems to have received this legal advice. It fitted 42,000 new but like-for-like Takata inflators.
"We have never replaced an airbag as an interim measure," claimed Honda Australia director Stephen Collins.
The unprecedented recall has affected 60 to 100 million vehicles globally, and around 2.35 million (UPDATE, 28/02/2018: the number is now around 4 million) in Australia, across 13 car brands. See our dedicated landing page.
Manufacturers have been working for years – since 2013 in most cases and even longer for Honda – to replace the airbags as quickly as they can be sourced.
It's worth noting that the industry-wide completion rate is 36 per cent, making Honda (70 per cent) the most advanced in the pursuit of fixing all defective units.
Collins said that: "This is of a scale that we and the industry has never seen before. Our goal is to track down every inflator and get it replaced".
"... It might not be [feasible to fix all], but it's our goal, whether its realistic I don’t know, but the message is that we want every single one back," he added.
Some facts about Honda's side of the Takata recall in Australia:
- 650,379 airbag inflators made by Takata and fitted to Hondas need replacing
- There have been 456,136 replaced so far, 70 per cent of the total
- There are 193,454 left to go, in about 145,000 cars
- Honda Australia is fixing 5000 per week, at the peak it was 10,000 a week
- It now has capacity at dealers, and 105,000 replacement inflators in stock
- In the next 4-5 weeks it has another 35,000 inflators on their way from Japan
- It has a call centre of 25 staff to track, book-in and sort 7 days a week: LINK HERE
- The centre can communicate in 160 languages
- Honda alone has issued in excess of one million separate communications to owners
- Less than one per cent of completions over eight years have been subject to a second recall
- Wait times dealer-by-dealer can vary. If the wait is too long, Honda will send you to another dealer
- The actual repair takes between 30-50 minutes
- Honda’s completion rate in terms of vehicles repaired is more than double other brands' combined
Recall action in Australia has been ongoing for some years, with higher-risk vehicles taking precedent.
- July 2017: 88,828 vehicles under recall. Around 40 per cent complete.
- Chrysler 300: Drivers side airbags replaced with a non-Takata, permanent solution – 5508 vehicles, 3772 completed – supply of parts exceeding demand
Chrysler & Jeep
Passenger side airbags – 22,430 vehicles, 1547 completed – supply for all Chrysler parts in country, waiting on supply for Jeep parts.
- July 2017: 449,032 inflators replaced out of 650,379 identified (from 426,198 vehicles recalled)
- July 2017: approximately 6833 vehicles completed out of 24,519 vehicles affected(front passenger airbag affected only)
- July 2017: approximately 33,100 vehicles completed out of 237,000 vehicles affected
- July 2017: approximately 72,122 vehicles completed out of 214,964 vehicles affected
- June 2017: approximately 129,000 completed out of 255,000 vehicles affected
- July 2017: specific completion rate to be confirmed, but company expects to have rectified around 114,000 vehicles by end of 2017.
- July 2017: approximately 161,261 completed out of 546,287 vehicles affected
The following lists the vehicles recalled in Australia over the Takata airbag issue, as of April 2017. (It’s worth noting that some vehicles inside the date ranges listed below are not affected by the recalls.)
|Make & model||Year Range|
|BMW 3 Series E46||1999-2006|
|BMW 5 Series E39, 3 Series E46, X5 E53||2002-2005|
|BMW 5 series E39, 3 Series E46, X5 E53|
|Ferrari 458, California, FF||2008-2011|
|Honda Civic, CR-V, Jazz||2001-2003|
|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|
|Jeep Wrangler JK||2007-2012|
|Lexus IS 250, IS 250C, 350, IS F||2005-2011|
|Lexus IS 250, IS 350, IS 250C, IS-F, LFA||2011-2012|
|Mazda 2, B Series, BT-50||2006-2011|
|Mazda 2, RX-8||2003-2014|
|Mazda 6, RX-8||2002-2004|
|Mazda 6, RX-8, B2500 ute/cab chassis, B2600 ute/cab chassis, BT-50||2002-2011|
|Mitsubishi GA & GB i-MiEV||2010-2011|
|Mitsubishi ML & MN Triton||2007-2014|
|Mitsubishi Pajero NS, NT, NW, NX||2007-2016|
|Mitsubishi Pajero NS & NT||2006-2009|
|Nissan N16 Pulsar, Y61 Patrol||2001|
|Nissan N16 Pulsar, Y61 Patrol|
|Nissan N16 Pulsar, Y61 Patrol, D22 Navara, T30 X-Trail||2000-2004|
|Nissan N16 Pulsar, D22 Navara, Y61 Patrol, T30 X-Trail, A33 maxima||2001-2003|
|Nissan N16 Pulsar, D22 Navara, Y61 Patrol, T30 X-Trail, J31 maxima||2003|
|Nissan N16 Pulsar, D22 Navara, Y61 Patrol, T30 X-Trail, J31 maxima||2004-2007|
|Nissan D22 Navara, T30 X-Trail, J31 Maxima||2007-2008|
|Nissan D22 Navara, Y61 Patrol||2009-2012|
|Nissan D40 Navara||2008-2014|
|Performax Silverado, Sierra, Mustang||2007-2008|
|Subaru Impreza, Forester||2008-2009|
|Subaru Tribeca, Liberty, Outback||2004-2009|
|Toyota Corolla, Avensis Verso||2000-2004|
|Toyota Echo, Rav 4||2002-2003|
|Toyota Corolla, Avensis Verso, Yaris||2003-2007|
|Toyota Corolla, Yaris, Avensis Verso||2006-2011|
|Toyota Corolla, Yaris & Rukus||2010-2012|
|Toyota Avensis Verso, Yaris||2007-2008|
|Toyota Echo, Rav 4||2003-2005|
|Toyota Echo, Rav 4||2002-2003|
How can I get my car fixed?
Car makers will attempt to notify affected vehicle owners of the recall by mail at their last known address and inform them when parts become available.
Replacement parts are currently being prepared, however due to the unprecedented number of vehicles impacted globally, it’s a logistical challenge.
Depending on the vehicle, either the driver and front passenger airbag inflators will be replaced.
The replacement will take approximately 1-1.5 hours and will be completed, free of charge.
How can I contact my car maker for more information?
Phone numbers for the customer support centres:
The Australian government (ACCC) has set up a Takata recalls info page, too. LINK HERE