Honda's airbag settlement secures   $100K for Guam consumer safety

NEW AIRBAGS: Brad Bissinger from Honda's North American Quality Center and John McCoy from Honda's Marysville Ohio Plant work to install new driver and passenger side airbag inflators on a Honda CRV at Honda's Airbag Inflator Repair-A-Thon held in May 2017 at the Agana Shopping Center parking lot. As many as 4,000 airbags were replaced on Guam during the event. Post file photo

The Guam Office of the Attorney General has secured $100,000 for Guam consumers in a multi-state settlement with American Honda Motor Company Inc. and Honda of America Manufacturing Inc.

Attorney General Leevin Taitano Camacho stated in a press release the settlement arose over allegations that Honda hid safety issues related to defects in the frontal airbag systems installed in certain Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United States. Long-time Honda supplier Takata Corp. designed and manufactured the systems that were first installed in the 2001 model year, the attorney general's office stated.

“We will take action against companies who put profit above the safety of consumers,” Camacho stated. “This settlement - the largest local consumer protection settlement in recent history - shows that our office’s active involvement in multistate investigations and litigation ultimately benefit Guam consumers.”

The settlement concludes a multistate investigation into Honda’s alleged failure to inform regulators and consumers that the frontal airbags posed a significant risk of rupture, which could cause metal fragments to fly into the passenger compartments of many Honda and Acura vehicles, the attorney general's office stated. The ruptures have resulted in at least 14 deaths and over 200 injuries in the United States alone.

The participating states and territories will be paid $85 million combined.

Guam’s share of the settlement will be used to fund the attorney general's ongoing consumer protection work.

The settlement also will lead to taking steps to ensure that future airbag designs include “fail-safe” features to protect passengers in the event the inflator ruptures.

Nearly 4,000 Honda and Acura vehicles on Guam also were outfitted with new airbag systems during an event in May 2017.

“In partnership with American Honda, Triple J Auto Group, the authorized dealer for Honda and Acura, went to great lengths, both on a national and local level, to ensure the repair of affected vehicles which started back in May 2017. We held several ‘recall repair-a-thon’ events over the course of several weeks to ensure that we penetrate the market with awareness and get the affected vehicles repaired immediately," said Kristine Lujan, Vice President of Marketing for Triple J Enterprises.  "We continue our efforts today and have repaired over 4000 vehicles, a high percentage of those affected.We want to assure our customers that their safety is our utmost concern."

For further inquiries or concerns, residents can call the Honda dealership at 648-2277, or visit www.triplejguam.com to schedule an appointment or request for recall inquiry on your vehicle’s VIN by simply clicking “Check Recalls” tab on the website menu.

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