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Airbag repairs to continue

By Rory Daley
Observer writer
daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, November 01, 2019

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ATL Automotive is continuing its free repairs on Honda and Acura airbags until all are rectified, according to Christina Thwaites, group marketing manager — ATL Automotive.
The initiative started three years ago, and targets vehicles from 2001 to 2016, whether the vehicle was purchased from the dealer or not.
In 2016, it was revealed that airbags manufactured by Takata were defective and could harm or even fill occupants during operation. There are more than 38,000 affected Hondas and Acuras on Jamaican roads, according to data from ATL with the assistance of the Ministry of Transport.
“This recall is unique in the sense that this affects life or death. Airbags are supposed to be a life-saving mechanism, but the device which is supposed to save your life in the event of an impact, can ultimately be what will cause serious injury or ultimately death in affected vehicles as shards of sharp metal fragment fly out of the airbags at hundreds of miles an hour throughout the car. There have also been cases of the vehicle igniting due to the high temperature of the deployment of the airbag,” Thwaites told Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.
“The chance of an improper inflation is even higher due to the high temperature and humidity here. These are called Alpha vehicles, which are cars within the 2000s range. These are more severely affected as they implode without warning and get to temperatures up to several hundred degrees Fahrenheit, melting the glass and dashboard,” she continued.
For those who missed any of the islandwide Repair-A-Thons, they can check their vehicle identification number (VIN) online or contact ATL Automotive.
“The airbag repair process is simple and quick, free, and takes a short 45 minutes at any of the local Honda dealers at 47-49 Hagley Park Road, Kingston 10 or Units 1-3 Bogue City Centre, Montego Bay,” she said.
Since the 2016 announcement, ATL Automotive has held six Repair-A-Thons across the island fixing a total of 15,015 airbags. To aid in the recall going forward, this year Honda Jamaica partnered with the Road Safety Unit.
“Our efforts have been further propelled as in further partnership with the Road Safety Unit, as vehicles with defective airbags pose a threat and danger, those affected vehicles will not be able to get their fitness renewed at any depot islandwide until they get their airbag replaced for free at any of our Honda Repair-A-Thons or at our Honda Jamaica Service Facilities,” she added.


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