Contact: Charity R. Clark, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171
Attorney General T.J. Donovan today announced that Vermont will receive $100,000 as part of a multistate settlement with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (collectively known as Honda). Today’s settlement resolves allegations that Honda concealed safety issues related to defects in airbag systems manufactured by Takata Corporation that were first installed in the Honda vehicles in the 2001 model year. A coalition of attorneys general alleged that, despite concerns from engineers, Honda delayed warning consumers and automobile safety officials about the dangers associated with defects in airbag systems, even as it began partial recalls of affected vehicles in 2008 and 2009.
Since 2008, Honda has recalled approximately 12.9 million Honda and Acura vehicles equipped with the suspect inflators, including 25,898 recalled vehicles in Vermont.
Today’s settlement resolves allegations that Honda violated state consumer protection laws, including Vermont’s Consumer Protection Act, by misrepresenting the safety of its vehicles. Under the terms of the consent judgment, Honda has agreed 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, such as requiring that Honda approve all new frontal airbag designs before the company will consider them for use in new Honda vehicles;
- abide by prohibitions on misleading advertisements and point of sale representations regarding the safety of Honda’s vehicles, including the airbags; and,
- make improvements in critical areas such as risk management, quality control, supplier oversight, training and certifications, and implementing mandatory whistleblower protections.
The multistate settlement reached between the attorneys general of 48 states, territories, and the District of Columbia and Honda totals more than $85 million, of which the State of Vermont will receive $100,000.
In addition to Vermont, the multistate group includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.
Consumers who own a Honda or Acura vehicle may visit Honda’s airbag recall website at hondaairbaginfo.com, or call Customer Service at (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.