Honda should have done more, say consumer groups

Nadzim-Johan

PETALING JAYA: Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd should have done more to ensure the owner of the car, killed by her car’s ruptured airbag, sent her recalled car to be repaired.

Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM) President Nadzim Johan said if the victim did not respond to the first recall notice, perhaps she did not get the message.

Yesterday, Honda said it had sent three recall notices to the owner of the car involved in Sunday’s incident.

“Does Honda have a mechanism to check if the customer did indeed get the recall notices?”

Nadzim said companies must ensure the customers get the message that their cars needed to be recalled.

“What about second-hand owners who have no direct link to the manufacturer?”

He said car companies needed to widen their channels to reach as many customers as possible.

“Perhaps, car companies could publish the names of owners or car number plates of cars which have not sent their cars back after a recall.”

This way, he said the friends and family members of the car owners could also alert them that they needed to send their cars to be fixed.

Nadzim also said that one reason why some consumers were hesitant or delayed sending their cars to be repaired, was the long waiting time.

“For some customers, they cannot afford to be without a car for so long. This is where the car companies must ensure customers have a replacement vehicle while their defective car is being fixed.”

For Consumers’ Association of Penang President S M Idris, the onus is on Honda to ensure the issue was fixed.

He said not everyone understood what a recall was or the consequences of not fixing a certain defect in a car.

He said sending notices was insufficient and that car companies must go all out to ensure recalled cars are actually repaired.

“If they have to, they should send out their staff or sales personnel to reach out to their customers and make them understand the need for a recalled car to be repaired.”

Honda clarified yesterday that the 2005 Honda City involved in this crash was included in a Malaysian Product Update (recall) announced on May 21, 2015, requiring replacement of the SDI inflator of the Takata driver’s front airbag.

The victim, a 44-year old mother of two, who was driving the car, was believed to have been killed when a projectile pierced her chest, after her car was involved in a minor coalition with a Mercedes Benz in Kota Damansara here on Sunday.