Technology company Carma Project has launched a reward program designed to get vehicle owners to replace their defective Takata airbags.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there are more than 12 million potentially defective Takata airbags across 19 manufacturers still in daily use.
The program will reward vehicle owners who take action to replace the bags with a $50 Amazon gift card.
“People are taking extraordinary measures to keep themselves and their families safe during this pandemic, both at home and on the road,” said Carma Project co-founder and CEO Fabio Gratton. “What they may not be considering is that they could be putting themselves in harm’s way if they are driving a vehicle with a potentially deadly airbag. This program is designed to specifically address this concern while simultaneously offering a financial reward.”
This all-new program — which includes the reward of a $50 Amazon gift card—will further help address the recall of deadly Takata airbags, which is labeled “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history” by NHTSA. In the face of more than a dozen deaths and hundreds of alleged injuries industry-wide, millions of drivers and passengers continue to be at risk.
Approximately 63 million Takata airbags across 19 manufacturers have been recalled because of the potential to explode when deployed, causing serious injury or even death. Despite extensive efforts by manufacturers, such as recall letters, public service announcements and dealer interventions, consumer response to fixing these potentially life-threatening airbags continues to be lower than hoped. Over 12.5 million defective Takata airbags are still on the road today.
The new Carma Project program will help the surging number of Americans facing unprecedented economic hardship by offering a much-needed financial incentive. Additionally, the program benefits dealer service centers by generating business at a time when many vehicle owners assume they are closed, according to a recent online survey commissioned by Carma Project. The survey also found that 67% of consumers living in metropolitan suburbs and small towns considered it “critical” to get their car repaired and addressing life-threatening safety recalls now, even during the pandemic.
Both federal and state governments have determined that car repair facilities qualify as “essential businesses,” with most dealer service centers having remained open throughout the duration of the Coronavirus crisis. To ease concerns of service center customers, dealers have implemented strict and extensive safety procedures that include social distancing, wearing protective gear such as masks and gloves, and thoroughly sanitizing vehicles after a repair has been completed.
“Many dealer repair centers are actually taking it a step further to accommodate customers during this period, by not only providing those safety measures, but also offering a suite of ‘concierge’ services,” Mr. Gratton further stated. “This includes home pick-up and delivery, repair, and cleaning. These contact-less services allow vehicle owners to get their repairs facilitated for free while maintaining their social distance.”
Carma Project’s COVID-19 airbag recall program will stay in effect while supplies last. To participate, people can visit www.carmaproject.com/covid19 to download the Carma Project app and check their car.