Japan’s Takata Corp., the auto safety parts manufacturer at the heart of a worldwide safety crisis, has announced an extensive advertising campaign across the US to direct consumers to have the flaw fixed.
Since 2008, millions of autos worldwide produced by eleven automakers have been recalled because they are equipped with potentially defective airbags that explode with too much force and can send metal debris inside the cabin. The flaw has been linked so far to eight deaths and hundreds of injuries and also triggered the biggest-ever US automotive recall – an estimated 32 million vehicles are being affected. The efforts will be directed towards high-humidity states like Texas and Florida initially, with Takata saying the regional approach has been taken to make sure there are enough replacement kits available. According to documents posted Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on its website, the tests to determine the root cause of the defect (yet unknown) continue to highlight the “primary role” of prolonged exposure to high humidity to the inflator defects. The Tokyo-based company’s efforts also include “a robust digital advertising campaign” and the proposal is also designed to lend a helping hand to the automakers that seek to lift their recall completion rates. “We look forward to working with NHTSA and our automotive customers on this important effort,” commented a US spokesperson for the Japanese supplier.
Takata’s phased regional approach, which targets consumers based on location – not age of their vehicle – will see advertising started in seven US southern states: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. The wave would also include Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.