Customers-first approach continues for Honda Jamaica

BY RORY DALEY
Observer writer

Friday, September 14, 2018

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Following hugely successful Airbag Repair-a-thon events in Montego Bay and Mandeville, the ATL Automotive Group has scheduled repair events for November 8-10 and November 14-18 for all Honda drivers in Ocho Rios and Portmore, respectively.

The Airbag Repair-a-thon events are part of the global safety recalls related specifically to airbag inflators supplied by leading car parts manufacturer Takata.

At the centre of the recall is a defective inflator and propellant devices that may go off improperly in the event of a crash with the possibility of shooting metal fragments into occupants of vehicles that can cause severe injury or even death.

In Jamaica, the chance of an improper inflation is even higher due to the high temperature and humidity. To date, vehicles have been recalled to replace frontal airbags on the driver's side and/or passenger's side mostly installed in cars from model year 2001 through 2016. Newer cars are not affected.

“This recall requires immediate action because of the potential life-threatening nature of it and the sheer number of cars affected. Recalls of any kind are never ideal but, at ATL Automotive Group we have undertaken a full campaign to educate Honda and Acura drivers on the recall, and importantly whether they bought their car from us at ATL Automotive or not, to urge them to bring their car to us so we can make the necessary repairs,” said Vasil Lee, head of business at Honda Jamaica.

“This is not a Honda issue, it is a global automotive issue and if your car, regardless of brand, was made between 2001 and 2016, it may be affected. The positive news for Honda and Acura drivers is that the repairs are completed by our expertly trained technicians, on the spot, in less than 30 minutes, and are completely free of charge. All you need to do is make an appointment. You do not need to be an existing customer of ours,” added Lee.

Through various announcements, the recall has tripled in size over the past year and it is expected that the inflator recall will see the total number of replaced airbags range from 65 million to 70 million.

“The challenge is locating the cars and their drivers when many of the affected cars have changed hands several times and include “grey market” cars imported from overseas, and so on. That's why we've invested heavily in advertising campaigns that raise awareness and urge people to act,” Lee said.

“We've been running radio and print advertisements, heavyweight digital campaigns, e-marketing campaigns, SMS blasts and everything in-between. The main message is simply 'If your Honda was made between 2001 and 2016, call us and let us check if your car is affected. If it is, let us fix it for you',” Lee added.

Efforts to repair affected vehicles have escalated to a national level as the Ministry of Transport and Mining, along with the Road Safety Unit have become actively involved in spreading awareness to drivers of all brands to contact their local dealer.

Honda and Acura owners can check their car's recall status simply by e-mailing HondaRecalls@atlautomotive.com with their VIN (chassis) number and contact information or by calling 1888-ATL-SERV.

Further information about the recall and the brands and models affected can be found at www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2016/05/...takata-air-bag-recall/index.htm.

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