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Honda to Use Facebook to Reach Owners with Defective Takata Airbags

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Takata Airbag Inflator Rupture Simulation

Dozens of manufacturers are currently scrambling to reach out to owners and encourage them to get their Takata airbag inflators repaired. Yesterday, Honda announced a new set of initiatives to complete these repairs, but because millions of owners still aren’t bringing in their Hondas, the automaker is resorting to Facebook to find them.

Using Facebook’s Custom Audiences tool, Honda can reach a specified list of people by matching Facebook users with encrypted email addresses that are associated with recalled vehicle identification numbers (VINs).

“To reach specific owners of affected vehicles, encrypted email addresses associated with recalled VINs are matched to Facebook UserIDs,” Honda said in a news release. “When a customer logs into Facebook, they are presented with a custom message featuring the PSA in their Facebook feed.”

Honda Recall Lookup: Use this tool to determine if your vehicle needs repairs

Takata airbag inflators can accidentally rupture and shoot metal fragments into the vehicle, which has been linked to at least 18 deaths and 180 injuries around the world and has led to the biggest auto recall in history. However, a report issued last week says that more than 10 million US vehicles and 18.5 million faulty Takata airbag inflators still remain unrepaired.

Automakers of vehicles subject to recall are required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to notify owners by email, but these often do not reach them because the emails go unnoticed or to outdated addresses. Furthermore, because some of the affected vehicles are at least 10 years old, they could have been sold several times already.

Honda probably has the right idea here: while people might not check their emails, they do tend to check their Facebook! If you would like to check whether your vehicle is affected, please visit the NHTSA’s website.

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