Nebraska wins over $1 million in Honda settlement
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Tuesday, the Attorney General’s Office announced a more than 85-million-dollar settlement with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (collectively “Honda”).
The settlement resolves allegations that Honda concealed safety issues related to defects in the frontal airbag systems in some Honda and Acura vehicles sold in Nebraska and throughout the United States. The airbags posed a significant risk of rupture, which could cause metal fragments to fly into the passenger compartments of these vehicles. The ruptures caused at least 14 deaths and over 200 injuries in the United States alone. The airbag systems were designed and manufactured by Takata Corporation, a long-time Honda supplier, and were first installed in 2001 Honda vehicles.
“Product recalls have the power to save lives,” Attorney General Peterson said. “In this case, Honda’s inaction endangered the public, and for that, they must be held accountable.”
The participating attorneys general alleged Honda engineers suspected that the propellant in the airbags could burn aggressively and cause the bag to burst. Despite these concerns, Honda delayed warning consumers or automobile safety officials, even as it began partial recalls in 2008 and 2009. Further, despite these concerns, Honda continued to represent to consumers that its vehicles, including its airbags, were safe. Since 2008, Honda has recalled approximately 12.9 million Honda and Acura vehicles nationwide – including 62,220 vehicles in Nebraska – equipped with the suspected faulty airbag systems. Of those 62,220 recalled Honda and Acura vehicles in Nebraska, 11,219 remain unrepaired.
Under the terms of the settlement, Honda has agreed to make several changes to ensure the safety of future airbag designs while making critical improvements to risk management, quality control, supplier oversight, and whistleblower protections. Honda also will pay the attorneys general just over $85 million. Nebraska will receive $1,088,485 of that amount.
If you own a Honda or Acura, officials strongly encourage you to visit Honda’s airbag recall website or call the Customer Service toll-free number at (888) 234-2138, to see if their vehicle is subject to a recall. You can also check for open recalls by going to Safercar.gov. All safety recall repairs are free at authorized Honda dealers.