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Honda no longer using Takata airbags

All change: Honda has made the switch from Takata to Daicel airbag inflators as it acts on safety recalls in Australia.

Daicel inflators replace Takata airbags but 42,000 Hondas might need a second recall

Honda logo26 Jul 2017

HONDA Australia has reassured owners of Honda vehicles fitted with potentially lethal airbag inflator devices that all new replacement parts are no longer Takata-sourced items.

However, original Takata airbag inflators were replaced with like-for-like units on about 42,000 Hondas built between 2001 and 2013 and might need to be replaced within the next few years.

Honda Australia said it has not yet been notified by its head office to make the recall, but would immediately act to comply with orders by international authorities.

Speaking to journalists at the launch of the fifth-generation CR-V medium SUV in Canberra this week, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said no new Hondas had Takata inflators, and every inflator being replaced was not a Takata inflator.

Both new-vehicle and replacement airbag inflators are now manufactured by Daicel, a Japanese rival to Takata part owned by Toyota.

To date only about 2800 vehicles fitted with replacement Takata airbag inflators have been recalled twice by Honda Australia out of a total of 650,379 vehicles recalled since the problems started.

A little more than 450,000 Hondas have been repaired, leaving fewer than 194,000 left.

“Over the past eight years, less than one per cent of the (airbag inflator) completions we have done have been subject to a second recall,” Mr Collins said.

“So that’s about 2800 vehicles, and we’ve acted on that immediately upon receiving that information in terms of informing the authorities and our customers.

“If you’re asking like-for-like, in total there is 42,000 (Takata-supplied airbag inflator) replacements … but we have no notification at this point of time that they have to be replaced again. If we are notified we will immediately go through the authorities and immediately contact our customers.

“We perform our recalls through our parent company and those 42,000 we were instructed and we went through all the authorities to replace those.

“Whether it’s a stopgap measure or not time will tell. But we have not been informed outside of the 8200 of any further recalls on those cars. If we are informed, of course we will go through the correct and speedy process of another recall on those cars.”

Mr Collins said the owners of those already-fixed 42,000 Hondas with Takata replacement inflators can contact their Honda dealer to discuss the possibility of obtaining a Daicel replacement inflator instead, though it is not clear whether any fix would occur while the more pressing matter of ‘non-fixed’ vehicles have yet to be attended to.

“We will work with each customer one-on-one,” he said. “And if that situation arises we will work with that customer to work that situation out.”

Mr Collins admitted that the problem of tracking owners of older Hondas that have been sold outside of the Honda dealer network is proving to be a big headache.

“We’re working to track people down,” he said. “Where it’s the second, third or fourth owner, it becomes more difficult, and generally speaking, the remaining are older cars and older customers … and in our experience we have tried many different things.

“There are instances where we’ve sent five or six letters to the same customer.”

Still, the company says it is ahead of the game compared with its competitors on this issue.

“Honda’s completion rate in terms of total vehicles repaired is more than double all of the other manufacturers combined,” a spokesman revealed.

The free repair takes 30 to 50 minutes, and may involve more than one airbag within each vehicle.

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