Tech

Honda will use targeted Facebook videos to encourage recall repairs

Honda will use targeted Facebook videos to encourage recall repairs

Stephanie Erdman, an Air Force officer, almost lost her right eye when the inflator in her 2002 Civic exploded into pieces in the crash. One of the automakers implicated in the recall scandal is turning to Facebook to track down owners.

As of mid-September, 20 million vehicles containing defective Takata airbag inflators still haven't been fixed, 64 percent of the 31.5 million vehicles containing the defective parts, according to a progress report released Friday by John Buretta, the independent monitor overseeing the recalls and a former USA prosecutor.

The report brought criticism from a USA senator in Florida, whose state has seen three deaths caused by the problem and where automakers have fixed 41.7 per cent of the 3 million affected inflators. "I don't want them to have to go through what I went through".

About 600,000 vehicles have not been repaired out of the 1 million recalls in North Carolina. "Waiting even for a day could be the difference between life and death", she says in the video. But the chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to humidity and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister and spewing shrapnel.

According to a new report on the progress of the repairs, less than half of the more than 42 million vehicles and 69 million airbags subject to recalls have been fixed.

The slow completion rate comes even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began co-ordinating the recalls and phasing them in two years ago.

Honda will use targeted Facebook videos to encourage recall repairs
Honda will use targeted Facebook videos to encourage recall repairs

Since then she's had four surgeries, some to remove metal fragments, and one to build a new eyelid from tissue taken from one of her ears.

Working with Honda was a big step for Erdman. The recalls will be phased in over roughly the next three years. The video is set for local broadcast TV airings, the company said. "When a customer logs into Facebook, they are presented with a custom message featuring the PSA in their Facebook feed".

Specifically, Honda is going to use Facebook's custom audiences tool. According to the report, 25 million individual airbags-out of 43 million recalled-haven't been replaced. The company also has been visiting owners' homes trying to get the most unsafe inflators replaced.

NHTSA said in a statement that the Takata recalls are unprecedented in size and complexity and have resulted in groundbreaking lessons that will help automakers reach their fix goals. So far this has led to 6,300 repairs, FCA said.

As many as 19 people are known to have died due to faulty Takata airbag inflators. Authorities had suspected that the air bag killed Nichol Lynn Barker, 34, of Holiday, but Florida authorities have yet to make that official.

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