TORRANCE, California — A new Honda advertising campaign that kicks off on March 16 is urging owners of vehicles affected by the Takata airbag recall crisis to take the vehicles to an authorized Honda or Acura dealer for a free repair as soon as possible.
The consumer information campaign features full-page, color advertisements that will appear in more than 120 newspapers, while 30-second radio announcements will air in more than 110 markets.
"In addition, sponsored, customized Facebook posts that mention the specific vehicle owned by each identified user will appear on owners' timelines, in an additional effort to capture attention and encourage owners to take action," Honda said in a statement on Thursday.
"These ads are a strong call to action from our company designed to break through the clutter, grab the attention of customers driving affected vehicles and urge that they get required repairs as soon as possible," said John Mendel, American Honda Motor Co. executive vice president.
The defective Takata airbag inflators can explode upon deployment, spewing metal shrapnel at vehicle occupants. The recall is linked to at least six deaths. Honda has been the automaker most affected by the Takata recall crisis.
In January, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration levied a $70 million maximum fine against Honda for failing to report deaths, injuries and warranty claims linked to the recall over the period of a decade. NHTSA oversees vehicle safety in the U.S.
In a speech on Friday, NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind said in prepared remarks: "Our actions are pushing Honda to significantly raise the bar on the effectiveness of its reporting program, will ensure compliance and determine if there is cause for additional actions."
Last month, NHTSA also levied new fines against Takata. Rosekind said those "fines are accumulating at a maximum rate of $14,000 a day."
"We are taking any actions allowed under the law to hold manufacturers accountable," Rosekind said. "But it is clear to any unbiased observer that the law does not currently provide our agency with sufficient authority to hold bad actors fully accountable. That is why Secretary Foxx has repeatedly requested new authorities and resources so that NHTSA can better protect consumers against any company that puts lives at risk."
Edmunds says: Another urgent reminder to owners of affected Honda and Acura vehicles to get in touch with their dealer immediately to get these vehicles fixed.