Takata Plans To Launch Airbag Recall Notification Campaign

takata logoThree months after Japanese auto parts maker Takata bowed to regulatory pressure and recalled 33.8 million vehicles equipped with shrapnel-shooting airbags responsible for at least eight deaths and hundreds of injuries, the company is launching an awareness campaign to ensure owners of affected vehicles are aware of the massive recall.

The Detroit News reports that Takata is working with Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to commence the campaign that includes national ads and direct mailings to millions of vehicle owners.

Takata announced its plans in a confidential memo to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month, noting that it plans to introduce a new website – http://www.airbagrecall.com – to encourage consumers to get their cars fixed under the “Get the Word Out” consumer outreach program.

The proposed ads – which would appear on Google, Facebook, Twitter, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Yahoo – include the message: “URGENT AIRBAG RECALL NOTICE: Does your airbag inflator need to be replaced?”

To begin with, the campaign will focus on areas of high humidity where airbags are thought to be at more risk for unexpectedly forceful deployments, including Florida, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi.

The parts maker says it will conduct real-time data analytics on the campaign and make changes to demographics and markets as needed.

As for the direct mailings, Takata says it will work with IIHS in “coordinating a mailing by insurers that would encourage affected policyholders to respond to the recalls.”

Before the campaigns can move forward, NHTSA must first approve the plan, the Detroit News reports.

A spokesperson for the agency said it was still reviewing the plans, as well as another confidential filing from Takata regarding steps to find the root cause of the airbag issue.

Recalls of vehicles with Takata-produced airbags began slowly in 2008, but gained traction over the last year, culminating in the recall of 33.8 million vehicles in May.

The company and a plethora of investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as the 10 automakers affected by the recall have yet to identify what causes Takata’s airbags to rupture so violently. Because of this, it’s unclear whether or not vehicles already repaired are actually safe.

In fact, company also plans to re-recall about 400,000 vehicles that have already been repaired.

Takata announced it would change its use of the often volatile chemical ammonium nitrate in its safety devices and replace its batwing driver inflators.

Takata to launch awareness campaign on air bag recalls [The Detroit News]

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