In an ongoing push to raise awareness about the Takata airbag inflator recall, Toyota is launching a new ad campaign in Los Angeles and two other markets it considers a priority. The campaign, dubbed “In about an hour,” urges drivers to take an hour out of their day to get their Takata airbag repaired.
Takata’s immense airbag recall – the largest automotive recall in U.S. history – affects more than 40 million vehicles made by 19 manufacturers. These vehicles are scattered throughout the country, but Toyota is focusing its marketing in Los Angeles first because the area’s hot, humid climate poses a greater risk for Takata airbag inflators to explode with lethal force.
After Los Angeles, the Japanese automaker will focus its campaign efforts on Dallas and Miami.
Toyota’s Takata airbag repair campaign kicks off with digital ads emphasizing that airbag repairs are free, easy, and fast, comparing them to normal, everyday tasks. Each takes “about an hour,” but “that one hour will save your life,” the ad slogan asserts. “It’s an easy choice, but millions of people still haven’t brought their affected vehicles in for a fast, free repair.”
The Toyota ads also direct consumers to its Toyota.com/Recall website, where Toyota, Lexus, and Scion owners can enter their vehicle identification (VIN) number and find a local dealer to schedule a repair.
Toyota’s Takata airbag repair campaign will also reach out to drivers through Facebook, Google, AdWords, various media outlets, and public service announcements on the radio. The campaign materials will be available in English and Spanish.
According to NHTSA, Takata, and the automakers affected by the extensive recalls, the airbags contain defectively designed inflators that can explode with even the slightest impact and blast metal shrapnel toward the vehicle’s occupants. The defect stems from the hypersensitive and highly unstable ammonium nitrate propellant, which can become increasingly hypersensitive and volatile with age and humidity.
Takata airbag explosions have been blamed for the deaths of 19 people worldwide, with 13 of those fatalities occurring in the U.S. More than 180 injuries linked to defective Takata airbags have been confirmed.