The complete shift from the way most automakers do business stems from the significant number of recalls from Honda last year. While the most glaring example is the Takata airbag problems affecting roughly 5.4 million of the company's vehicles in the US, that's hardly the only one. In Japan, the Fit Hybrid needed five repair campaigns in 12 months to fix various issues, and according to Bloomberg, the Vezel (similar to the HR-V in the US) has needed three. Honda also had to pay $70 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to submit 1,729 safety reports to the agency.
The Japanese automaker has been working on ways to right the ship for months. In the wake of the Fit recalls, top executives took a three-month, 20 percent pay cut and created an independent position to monitor vehicle quality. Previous Honda CEOs have also offered stern words to Ito.
The problems haven't had quite such a dire effect in the US, though. Sales in 2014 were up one percent, and January 2015 showed a year-over-year improvement of 11.5 percent