Launch of new site targets large number of vehicles in areas with higher percentage of Hispanics that are likely to still be equipped with deadly Takata airbags.
COSTA MESA, Calif. (April 25, 2019) – Addressing the community of Spanish-speaking car owners and drivers, the peer-to-peer safety platform Carma Project—in collaboration with Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) —has established a Spanish-language version of its site, the first-ever community-driven and incentive-based program designed exclusively for accelerating consumer response to the Takata airbag recall.
According to data provided to Carma Project by the independent Takata Monitor and sourced from the United States Census Bureau, zip codes where a majority of residents are of Hispanic descent are more likely to have unrepaired faulty Takata airbags than those with lower concentrations of residents of Hispanic descent. The Takata Monitor’s research indicates that only approximately 52 percent of vehicles equipped with potentially deadly Takata airbags have been repaired in regions with a high concentration of Hispanic residents (between 80 and 100 percent). Conversely, in areas where the Hispanic demographic makes up a lower percentage of the population (20 percent or less), completion rates are significantly higher.
Regions reflected in these data have been identified by zip code, according to information provided by the United States Census Bureau. For specifics, please see chart.
“Given the urgency and magnitude of this recall, targeting the Spanish-speaking community is part of an overall outreach strategy,” said Carma Project CEO Fabio Gratton. “The higher rate at which unrepaired airbags exist within this community makes it important that we raise awareness there.”
This latest update from Carma Project 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 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The recall continues to impact vehicles built by 19 different automakers, with a projected 70 million airbags expected to be recalled by the end of 2019. 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.
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, with 1 out of every 3 affected airbags still unrepaired.
“We know that friends and family can play a powerful role in influencing how people make decisions about safety, particularly in the Hispanic community” said TMNA Vice President of Product Quality and Service Support Tom Trisdale. “Our partnership with Carma Project is designed to motivate and incentivize people to share critical information about the recall, including how to get the remedy completed for free.”
Carma Project was designed to facilitate the process of people helping people by alerting them to the Takata recall. By combining the trust of word-of-mouth communication within a game design that infuses incentives for individuals alerting their friends and family, the Carma Project hopes to connect Toyota with hard-to-reach owners who haven’t brought in their vehicle for repair.
In connection with Toyota’s support of the Carma Project, people can earn financial rewards by signing up for Carma Project and sharing Takata airbag recall information with their friends and families. A simple license plate photo or typing a VIN into a recall lookup tool on Carma Project’s website allows involved Toyota, Lexus, and Scion owners to immediately take action and book an appointment for a free Takata airbag fix. Referring individuals can also earn financial rewards for every eligible Toyota, Lexus, or Scion that is fixed.
To learn more about the program, how it works, and to sign up, please visit www.CarmaProject.com.
About Carma Project
Established in 2018, Carma Project is dedicated to improving consumer safety through its innovative technology platform that uses peer-to-peer influence and incentives to accelerate consumer response to the Takata recall. Carma Project was established by SONIC Health, LLC.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), creator of the Prius hybrid and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 60 years, we’ve built more than 38 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold nearly 2.8 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2018 – and about 87 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 16 years are still on the road today.