AG secures settlement with Honda for Guam consumers

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Attorney General Leevin Taitano Camacho has announced that Guam will receive $100,000 from the multistate settlement with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Honda of America Mfg., Inc., the largest settlement Guam has received as a result of a consumer protection case in recent history.

The settlement arose over allegations that Honda hid safety issues related to defects in the frontal airbag systems installed in certain Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United States. Long-time Honda supplier, Takata Corporation, designed and manufactured the systems and were first installed in the 2001 model year.

The settlement concludes a multistate investigation into Honda’s alleged failure to inform regulators and consumers that the frontal airbags posed a significant risk of rupture, which could cause metal fragments to fly into the passenger compartments of many Honda and Acura vehicles. The ruptures have resulted in at least 14 deaths and over 200 injuries in the United States alone.

Attorney General Leevin Taitano Camacho said, “Multistate litigation is an example where strength in numbers affords us the opportunity to pursue issues that affect the health, safety and overall well-being of our local community and consumers. Combining our efforts with other communities that are experiencing similar consumer issues empowers our ability to continue actively engage and fight for these types of issues, and to broaden our efforts to do more.”

Under the terms of the consent judgment filed with the Superior Court of Guam, Honda has agreed to strong injunctive relief, which, among other things, require it:

• To pay participating Attorneys General representing 48 states and territories
$85,151,210.15. Guam’s share of the settlement will be used to fund the OAG’s
ongoing consumer protection work.
● To take steps to ensure that future airbag designs include “fail-safe” features to
protect passengers in the event the inflator ruptures.
● To adopt changes to its procurement process for new frontal airbags, to ensure that
its suppliers have the appropriate industry certifications and satisfy key industry
performance standards, as well as improve record-keeping and parts tracking.
● To implement recurrence prevention procedures designed to prevent a tragedy like
this from ever happening again, such as requiring that Honda approve all new
frontal airbag designs before the company will consider them for use in new Honda
vehicles.
● To abide by prohibitions on misleading advertisements and point of sale
representations regarding the safety of Honda’s vehicles, including the airbags.
● To make improvements in critical areas such as risk management, quality control,
supplier oversight, training and certifications, and implementing mandatory
whistleblower protections.

Deputy Attorney General of the Consumer Protection Division Fred Nishihira and his legal team handled the case.

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