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Last updateSat, 17 Mar 2018 12am







    Saturday, March 17, 2018-5:39:56A.M.






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Honda to replace, repair airbag inflators for free

STARTING today, Thursday, until Saturday, Honda will repair or replace, for free, the defective airbag inflators of about 450 Honda and Acura vehicles on island at Joeten Motor Co. in Oleai, Beach Road.

“If you have a 2001 or newer car, Honda or Acura, it may be affected. We need to run the vehicle to see if it is affected or not,” said Wayne Waszkiewicz, Honda export parts and service operations manager.

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Honda and Joeten Motors team up for a three-day repair and replacement of airbag inflators in affected Honda and Acura vehicles.
Joeten Motor Co. service manager Calvin D.L.G. Yamagishi shows the boxes of airbag inflators for affected Honda and Acura vehicles.

Honda has been actively replacing Takata front airbag inflators since 2014, he added.

He said Honda brought in factory-trained technicians from Torrance, California to Saipan to repair or replace the affected vehicles’ airbag inflators.

Waszkiewicz said there was a design defect in the airbag inflator manufactured by Takata. “This affected almost all car manufacturers, not just Honda. But it affected Honda the most because we used more Takata inflators.”

He said 17 deaths and 180 severe injuries worldwide have been linked to the Takata airbags which, he added, can inflate with too much force and blow apart a metal canister, spewing shrapnel.

On Saipan, the Honda team will have an “awning set up to check if the vehicle is affected or not. If it is affected, we will fix it while you wait,” Joeten Motor service manager Calvin D.L.G. Yamagishi, said.

Joeten Motor is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Waszkiewicz said the replacement work will take 30 to 45 minutes. “It is 100 percent free and we are not trying to sell anything. We will just fix the airbag inflators and keep the car safe.”

He added, “We need to run your vehicle, scan it and check in our system, our database, to see if you have one of those inflators that is affected.”

Waszkiewicz said the campaign has been going on for several years now. They have sent letters to vehicle owners, he added, notifying them that their vehicle may be affected and encouraging them to come and visit their dealership for repairs, but many people ignored their call.

“This is really important. We are paying a lot to reach out. This is an expensive thing for Honda to do, but we want the right thing for our customers,” Waszkiewicz said.