SOURCE: News release from Office of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill
Attorney General Curtis Hill announced today a more than $85 million multistate settlement with Honda over vehicle safety issues related to defects in frontal airbag systems in certain Honda and Acura vehicles that were sold in the United States.
Due to these defects, Honda has recalled approximately 12.9 million Honda and Acura vehicles with suspect airbag inflators since 2008. This includes 189,397 vehicles in Indiana. Ruptures of these faulty airbags have resulted in at least 14 deaths and over 200 injuries in the U.S. alone. Honda also delayed in reporting the defects to consumers.
“It is important to hold companies accountable when they fail to keep the customers who use their products safe,” Attorney General Hill said. “We hope this settlement will signal to manufacturing companies that consumer safety must be a top priority.”
Honda’s conduct allegedly violated several states’ consumer protection laws, including the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act. The company will pay more than $85 million to the states that sued. Indiana will receive more than $1.7 million of that money.
As part of the settlement, Honda has also agreed to:
- Take steps to ensure that future airbag designs include “fail-safe” features to protect passengers in the event inflators rupture;
- Change its procurement process for new frontal airbags to ensure that its suppliers have the appropriate industry certifications and satisfy key industry performance standards;
- Improve record-keeping and parts tracking;
- Implement procedures designed to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again, such as requiring the company to approve all new frontal airbag designs before the company will consider them for use in new Honda and Acura vehicles;
- Prohibit misleading advertisements and point-of-sale representations regarding the safety of Honda’s vehicles, including the airbags; and
- Make improvements in critical areas such as risk management, quality control, supplier oversight, training and certifications, and implementing mandatory whistleblower protections.
Hoosiers who own a Honda or Acura vehicle are strongly encouraged to visit hondaairbaginfo.com or call Honda’s toll-free customer service number at 888-234-2138 to see if their vehicle is subject to a recall. You may also check for open recalls by going to Safercar.gov. All safety recall repairs are free at authorized Honda dealers.
Consumers can also call the Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 317-232-6330 with any questions about this settlement.