Canadian Prime Minister Visits Honda Canada Plant: No Comment On Vehicle Recalls

Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, visited the Honda Canada plant yesterday in Alliston, Ontario for photo opportunities and a public statement. Prime Minister Harper had no comment to make regarding vehicle recalls, Takata airbag safety or the recent lawsuit against Takata filed by Ontario plaintiffs during his visit to Honda Canada.

The Globe and Mail reported on March 27 that three separate plaintiffs from Windsor, Ontario have filed lawsuits against Takata seeking a combined total of over $ 2.4 billion in damages.

Since Canadian news organizations announced the recall of over 700,000 vehicles this past December, there has been little to no mention of the issue until the announcement of this new lawsuit. Many class action lawsuits are underway in the U.S.

Recalls of Honda Canada vehicles in 2013 were also for the same potentially deadly problem.

Speaking on the new Canada- EU Trade Agreement from Honda Canada, Harper applauded the opportunity to get more Canadian made Honda vehicles on European roads.

“Today’s announcement is significant for Canada’s automotive and advanced manufacturing industry. Our Government has worked hard to open new markets for Canadian companies and we are pleased that Canadian vehicle manufacturers like Honda are already preparing to take full advantage of the many benefits that the Canada-EU Trade Agreement will generate. Our Government will continue to support our exporters and manufacturers as part of the most ambitious pro-export, pro-jobs plan in Canadian history.”

A media spokesperson from the Prime Minister’s office also had no comment on the safety recalls of over 700,000 Canadian vehicles, or the appropriateness of the Prime Minister choosing the Honda Canada plant as his platform to promote his new Canada- EU agreement.

Takata has been uncooperative with ongoing investigations into the faulty airbag systems, which have led to at least 6 deaths and at least 100 injuries. Takata is being fined $14,000 a day by U.S. Transportation authorities for not assisting fully with ongoing investigations. As reported by the Inquisitr, Takata appears to have known about this potentially fatal airbag defect for decades!

According to the New York Times, a recent Takata ad campaign to draw attention to the need to have the affected vehicles fixed has not proven to be effective, partly because replacements are not available to fix vehicles quickly, and partly because not all drivers are yet aware that their vehicles have been recalled.

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Honda Canada’s website has a page that offers the following information for concerned vehicle owners.

“A Message to Our Customers About Airbag Inflator Recalls- Honda Canada is committed to addressing the needs and concerns of our customers and making clear that we stand behind the safety and quality of our products. Regarding Takata airbags and the related recalls of Honda and Acura vehicles, we have a customer service procedure that addresses individual customer needs and concerns and encompasses, as appropriate, the replacement of airbag inflators and the provision of or reimbursement for temporary alternative transportation. For anyone who owns one of our vehicles and is concerned, we encourage Acura vehicle owners to visit www.acura.ca/recalls or call 1-800-667-6784 and Honda vehicle owners to visit www.honda.ca/recalls or call 1-800-667-6784. We encourage customers with an affected vehicle to take immediate action to have their vehicle serviced at their authorized dealership.”

The United States has issued recalls on more than 6 million vehicles affected by the faulty Takata parts including vehicles made by Honda and Honda Canada. Other vehicles recalled for similar problems include Toyota, Nissan, Chrysler, Ford, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Toyota, BMW, and General Motors.

According to CTV news, “lawmakers say that 30 million cars with potentially faulty Takata air bags are driving on U.S. roads”.

Consumer Reports issued a detailed report last month for American drivers affected by the recalls. Transport Canada suggests that all Canadian drivers check the Transport Canada Road Safety Recalls page for direction. There is no pertinent information on the Transport Canada main page, but you can input your vehicle information into an online form on the Road Safety Recalls page for further instructions.

[Photo by Jag Gundu/Getty Images]