Expanded Honda Recall Over Potential Deadly Airbag DefectAug 3, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
The Honda Motor Company just announced that it expanded a previous recall from late last year and is now adding nearly a half-million—about 440,000—cars that could contain a dangerous and deadly airbag defect, CNN Money reported.
The affected Honda models include the 2001-2002 Honda Accord, the 2001 Civic, and the 2002-2003 Acura TL. According to CNN Money, the potential airbag defect has resulted in six injuries and one death, citing Chris Naughton, Honda spokesman. Acura is Honda’s luxury brand automobile, the Associated Press (AP) pointed out.
The recall involves the driver-side airbags, said The Examiner. Recalled Honda cars will have to have the driver’s side steering-wheel-mounted airbag inflator either fixed or replaced, explained CNN Money.
It seems that in some of the cars, the inflators are over-pressurized, which can result in rupture when the airbag is activated, reported CNN Money, citing Honda. "Metal fragments could pass through the cloth airbag cushion material, possibly causing an injury or fatality to vehicle occupants," quoted CNN Money.
A recall notice will be sent to registered owners of the vehicles involved in the recall, with customers likeliest to experience a problem contacted first, said CNN Money. The recall notices are scheduled to be sent over the next several months and will request consumers to schedule a repair. The Examiner said that Honda is advising consumers to wait for their notice before scheduling a repair appointment.
Bloomberg.com reported that, in Tokyo, Japanese auto parts maker, the Takata Corporation’s shares fell the most in nearly one month following the Honda Motor Company recall. Kimio Kobori, a spokesman for Takata, said that the company—which is located in Tokyo—provided airbags for the 2001 Honda Civics and Honda Accords, said Bloomberg.com. Takata is, said Bloomberg.com, the largest auto safety manufacturer worldwide.
Meanwhile, the LA Times, citing the Associated Press (AP), reported that Honda is recalling 1,532 of its Inspire and Saber passenger cars in Japan. While Honda maintains that the issue of airbag responsibility is unclear, according to Japan’s transport ministry, it was the metal fragments that deployed from the ruptured air bag and allegedly struck the driver’s neck in the fatal U.S. accident, said the AP, which noted that Honda said it is investigating the cause of the death. Reuters reported that the auto maker is also looking into what other models may need to be included in the recall and that the airbags are supplied to a variety of markets, citing a spokeswoman.
The Inspire and Saber autos utilize the same type of defective airbag that was installed in the recalled Civics and Accords, said the AP, which is why Honda is also recalling its Inspire and Sabers in Japan. According to Reuters, about 21,00 cars are also being recalled in Canada.
The BBC noted that Honda issued a similar recall this past November.
Honda owners can log onto the Honda Web site at: www.owners.honda.com/recalls and click on the "Owner Link" for recall status; Acura owners can access www.owners.acura.com/recalls and click on the link for "My Acura,” said Bloomberg.com.