Car Culture

Carma Project is using gift cards to speed up the Takata airbag recall

Toyota and Carma Project are partnering because people have been too lazy to get their airbags fixed.

Carma Project and Toyota want you to annoy your loved ones into getting their faulty Takata airbag fixed and we're totally cool with that.

Carma Project

One of the worst things about the Takata airbag recall is that it's something that doesn't necessarily affect your daily commute. It's easy to ignore. Unfortunately, ignoring it is something that's been happening quite often. To try help fix that, Toyota is partnering with an organization called Carma Project.

The idea behind the partnership is to give people a way to encourage their friends and family to get their faulty airbags fixed and be rewarded for doing so. Nothing works quite so well for motivating people as familial guilt fueled by the promise of free gift cards.

Essentially, how it works is you go to the Carma Project website, sign up as a "Carma Ambassador" and begin plugging your friends and family's contact info into the system. Carma Project then notifies your loved one, prompting them to take a photo of their vehicle's license plate. The Carma Project then checks the plate against a database and lets them know if their car is affected by the recall.

If the person schedules an appointment to get their car fixed, you are rewarded with points. Once they actually go through with the repair, you get more points. If you convince other people to sign up as a "Carma Ambassador," then you get points too. It's like a pyramid scheme of helping. Anyway, the points you get can be redeemed for gift cards at restaurants and stores.

Is this kind of a weird way to spur people into doing something that costs nothing and may save their lives? Yeah, but given how many hundreds of thousands of vehicles still haven't had their airbag inflators replaced, it's maybe time to get a little weird because getting a face full of airbag shrapnel for Christmas would suck.