Business

Honda launches ad campaign to urge 'immediate' Takata air bag repairs

Kyodo

Honda Motor Co. announced Thursday it will launch a “multi-million dollar” advertising campaign in the United States on Monday to beef up efforts to replace the defective air bags made by embattled Japanese parts supplier Takata Corp. in the massive number of recalled cars not yet fixed.

U.S. auto safety regulators have said 10 automakers have recalled about 17 million cars since 2008 to replace Takata’s air bags that can improperly inflate and hurl metal fragments. Honda says only about 14 percent of the 10 million cars it has recalled in the country for the defect have been repaired.

Honda told Kyodo News the campaign will initially focus on seven southern states, including Florida and Texas, where the automaker will run full-page ads in newspapers and radio ads in English or Spanish. The company will also post personalized ads on Facebook’s social networking service.

The bilingual media blitz will eventually expand to include Hawaii and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Honda said it is prioritizing the 11 states and territories with high absolute humidity as humidity levels are believed to contribute to the risk of rupture.

“The goals of this campaign are to save lives and prevent injuries,” John Mendel, executive vice president of Honda’s American division, said in a press release. “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.”