(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden today announced an $85 million multistate settlement with American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (collectively “Honda”). The settlement concludes a 48-state investigation of Honda’s alleged failure to inform regulators and consumers that the front airbags in many of its vehicles could rupture, injuring or killing passengers.
Takata Corporation, a long-time Honda supplier, designed and manufactured the airbag systems, which Honda began installing in 2001. To date, Honda has recalled approximately 12.9 million Honda and Acura vehicles equipped with the defective airbags.
Idaho’s portion of the settlement is $100,000. The money, by law, will be deposited into the state’s Consumer Protection Fund, subject to future legislative appropriation.
In addition to prohibiting Honda from making misleading representations about the safety of Honda’s vehicles, the settlement requires Honda to:
- take steps to ensure that future airbag designs include “fail-safe” features to protect passengers in the event the inflator ruptures;
- adopt changes to its procurement process for new frontal airbags, to ensure that its suppliers have the appropriate industry certifications and satisfy key industry performance standards, as well as improve record-keeping and parts tracking;
- implement recurrence prevention procedures designed to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again, such as requiring that Honda approve all new frontal airbag designs before the company will consider them for use in new Honda vehicles;
- and make improvements in critical business areas such as risk management, quality control, supplier oversight, training and certifications, and implementing mandatory whistleblower protections.
Consumers who own a Honda or Acura vehicle are strongly encouraged to visit Honda’s airbag recall website at www.hondaairbaginfo.com, or call 888-234-2138, to see if their vehicle is subject to a recall. Consumers may also check for open recalls by going to Safercar.gov. All safety recall repairs are free at authorized Honda dealers.