TORRANCE, CA – Honda decided to extend its vehicle production suspension at two of its plants through Sunday, April 3. The company said that the impact of the earthquake on its facilities in northern Japan was more severe, but that repair and inspections for those facilities are nearly completed.

The company said employees at its R&D facilities in the area affected by the quake in Japan have started returning to work, but the automaker will transfer some functions, including automobile product development, development of manufacturing technologies, and procurement, to other offices during the recovery period.

In a statement, the company said, “Concerning operations from April 4 on, Honda will make decisions based on the status of the recovery of Japanese society as a whole as well as the supply of parts. While most of our Japan-based suppliers are making progress to restart production, and many either have or are ready to resume parts production, there are a few suppliers that have yet to resolve the challenge to resume their production. In those cases, Honda is working with its suppliers to help reestablish their operations, while evaluating other possible sources for those parts in the supply chain. Please understand that Honda is making every effort to work toward a full recovery as quickly as possible. We appreciate everyone's understanding during these challenging times.”

American Honda has established a special website to direct donations to the American Red Cross’ relief efforts in Japan.  The company said the website is now open to the public rather than strictly Honda employees and employees of affiliated companies.