TORRANCE, California — Honda is going to great lengths to track down registered owners of vehicles affected by the Takata airbag recall crisis, even enlisting the services of special investigative firms, the automaker said on Monday.
"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," Honda said in a statement.
The effort to find owners 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 enlisting the services of "special investigative firms."
"Unfortunately, far too many affected vehicles remain unrepaired," Honda said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in late February that nearly 90 percent of vehicles with defective Takata airbags remain unrepaired.
Approximately 17 million vehicles with defective Takata airbags have been recalled since 2008 and just under 2 million of those have been fixed as of December 31, according to NHTSA spokesman Gordon Trowbridge.
"The auto industry is staring down the barrel of a massive, lingering airbag recall that could at any moment blow up in its face," said Automotive News in an editorial on March 9.
The defective airbag inflators can rupture in a collision, spewing shrapnel at vehicle occupants. At least six deaths have been linked to the defective Takata airbag inflators.
In yet another warning to consumers, Honda urged "anyone who owns a Honda or Acura" vehicle to check its recall status by visiting recalls.honda.com or calling 1-800-999-1009 or recalls.acura.com or calling 1-800-382-2238.
"Honda encourages customers with an affected vehicle to take immediate action to have their vehicle serviced at their authorized dealerships," the automaker said.
Honda will provide free loaner or rental vehicles to affected customers who request alternative transportation until their vehicle can be repaired.
Edmunds says: Another call to action from Honda that underscores the seriousness of the Takata airbag crisis. Your local dealer can help with next steps if you own one of the affected vehicles.