In Australia, no other marque has felt the pinch from the Takata recall quite like Honda has. It’s replacing 7,000 airbags a week now, and it’s not stopping.
The Takata airbag recall, which shocked the world when it first came to light over a year ago. As of today, it’s been linked to the deaths of several drivers and passengers worldwide, and has directly caused the injury of countless others. It’s being touted as the biggest recall in history, with millions of cars across almost all major manufacturers affected in one way or another.
Honda Australia has been the worst hit locally, with 600,000 faulty inflators in 450,000 cars requiring replacement. At present, Honda is averaging a healthy 7,000 airbags a week, though at the going rate, it’ll still take a little under a year to complete the recall in its entirety. Assuming it can track down all the owners.
Director at Honda Australia, Stephen Collins, confirmed that figure earlier this week. “The last number of months, our dealers have been changing over an average of about 7,000 inflators a week, peaking at 10,000 a week.” Each replacement takes about 45-minutes. The biggest issue now is that some of the affected cars are over a decade old, and tracking down the cars - that may have changed hands one or more times within that period - will be quite a challenge.
At the time of writing, there are about 15 ongoing recalls, with Honda commenting that its Melbourne warehouse is near capacity, with all the parts coming in from Japan. Honda Australia has also maintained (and will continue to maintain) a 24-person call centre that is devoted exclusively to the Takata inflator recall. It’s also provided a public VIN checker, which will let owners see if their Honda’s are involved in the recall.
Although the Takata recall is by all accounts a gargantuan task, Collins said that the issue has been less of an issue for Honda’s team internally than the Thailand floods in 2011, which saw the Honda factory submerged in about 8-feet of water, seriously compromising the brand’s delivery times here.
For the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s page on the Takata recall, click here.
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