Federal safety officials and Honda executives are imploring owners of several older Hondas to park their vehicles until they can get into a dealership to replace potentially deadly airbag inflators in the vehicles. The units are part of the larger Takata airbag recall, but due to their age and location they are considered more dangerous than other faulty airbags.
“We want to get them off the road,” said Honda spokesman Marcos Frommer.”We want them to drive them right to the dealer and get them repaired,”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued the warning covering about 313,000 vehicles from model years 2001 to 2003 that have airbag inflators made by Takata, which is subject of the largest recall in history.
The urgent warning issued by NHTSA is for the 2001 to 2002 Honda Civic and Accord, the 2002 to 2003 Acura TL, the 2002 CR-V and Odyssey, and 2003 Pilot and Acura CL. The critical nature of the warning is because the possibility that those airbags could deploy and explode are higher than others that are part of the larger recall.
(Toyota recalling 1.43 million vehicles for faulty non-Takata airbag inflators. For more, Click Here.)
The air bag inflators in the vehicles “contain a manufacturing defect which greatly increases the potential for dangerous rupture,” NHTSA said in a statement.
The agency said that new testing data revealed rupture rates as high as 50%. Ruptures are far more likely in inflators in vehicles that spent significant periods of time in areas of high absolute humidity — particularly Florida, Texas and other parts of the Gulf Coast.
The push comes just a few days after Toyota recalled 1.43 million vehicles for faulty airbag inflators; however, they were not manufactured by Takata. The airbag problem involves a faulty system that may partially inflate without a crash, creating the risk of injury.
Toyota noted that the defective system was provided Autoliv, and not by Takata Corp., the Japanese airbag supplier now responsible for the largest recall in automotive history.
(Takata CEO set to resign in wake of airbag scandal. Click Here for the latest on this story.)
Honda has been trying every method it can to reach out to owners of these vehicles to alert them about the recall action and the urgency of the situation, including hiring private investigators who have fallen off the radar.
NHTSA’s warning applies to vehicles already recalled between 2008 and 2011, however, records show that not all of the vehicle owners took them to dealerships to be repaired.
Owners should visit www.SaferCar.gov to check whether their vehicle has any outstanding safety recalls, and if so, contact their nearest dealer to schedule a no-cost immediate repair.
(Fiat Chrysler to stop using recall-targeted Takata airbags. For more, Click Here.)
“The air bag inflators in this particular group of vehicles pose a grave danger to drivers and passengers that must be fixed right away,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in a statement.