Honda updates Takata airbag recall status for some modelsFri, 07 Nov 2014 10:44:00 EST
The net enveloping vehicles in the Takata airbag inflator recall just seems to keep widening. Honda is now updating its previous campaign to revise the status for even more models that were ever registered in (or originally sold in) 13 high-humidity US states and territories.
All of these vehicles were included in the company's earlier repairs. However, at the time this fix was titled "a safety improvement campaign." This latest action upgrades that condition to "a formal recall," according to Honda's official statement. The models include: the 2003-2005 Honda Accord, 2001-2005 Civic (pictured above), 2002-2005 CR-V, 2003-2004 Element, 2002-2004 Odyssey, 2003-2005 Pilot, 2006 Ridgeline, 2003-2005 Acura MDX and the 2005 Acura RL. All of these need to have their passenger-side, front airbag inflator replaced, and the recall affects Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Saipan, Guam and American Samoa.
As with the rest of these affected vehicles, it's possible in a collision for the inflator to rupture spraying metal shrapnel at occupants. There are at least 139 injuries attributed to this problem from a variety of automakers so far. Among this latest population of vehicles, Honda says there have been no confirmed injuries or fatalities related to these exploding inflators.
Owners should receive notification of the update by mail beginning in early December. Honda spokesperson Chris Martin told Autoblog via email that the company is working with Takata to have enough inflators to repair all of the affected models. "If we reach a point that a sufficient quantity of replacement inflators is not available, we will work with concerned customers to address their needs until parts are available, including the provision of or reimbursement for temporary alternative transportation."
According to Reuters, Honda is currently under investigation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over its handling of this recall campaign. Earlier allegations from the Center for Auto Safety claimed that the automaker failed to report two injury-and-death incidents to NHTSA involving the faulty airbags. You can read the company's full statement on the upgraded status below.
Statement by American Honda Regarding Transition From Passenger's Front Airbag Inflator Safety Improvement Campaign to Recall
11/06/2014 - TORRANCE, Calif.
Certain model year 2001-2006 Honda and Acura vehicles originally sold or ever registered in 13 U.S. states and territories that consistently experience high absolute humidity will now be subject to recall 14V-700
Affected vehicles previously were included in a safety improvement campaign or recall, announced in June 2014, or in a prior recall announced in April 2013; all campaigns/recalls require same repair
No injuries or fatalities have been confirmed for the identified population related to this recall
Honda will transition certain 2001-2006 model year vehicles, most of which were included in a June 2014 safety improvement campaign (NHTSA 14V-353), into a formal recall of passenger front airbag inflators (NHTSA 14V-700). The affected vehicles were originally sold or ever registered in 13 U.S. states and territories that consistently experience high absolute humidity. The specific number of vehicles subject to this transition has not yet been determined.
Affected models are certain 2003-2005 Honda Accord, 2001-2005 Civic, 2002-2005 CR-V, 2003-2004 Element, 2002-2004 Odyssey, 2003-2005 Pilot, 2006 Ridgeline, 2003-2005 Acura MDX and the 2005 Acura RL. The same repair required in the prior safety improvement campaign, replacement of the passenger front airbag inflator, free of charge, will apply to vehicles now included in this recall. Vehicles that received a replacement passenger airbag inflator under the prior safety improvement campaign will not be included in this recall.
In certain vehicles that were originally sold or ever registered in geographic locations that consistently experience high absolute humidity, specifically, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Saipan, Guam, and American Samoa, the passenger's front airbag inflator could exhibit a symptom of producing excessive internal pressure. If an affected airbag deploys, the increased internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture. In the event of an inflator rupture, metal fragments could be propelled upward toward the windshield, or downward toward the front passenger's foot well, potentially causing injury to a vehicle occupant. The cause of the potential inflator rupture and the apparent link to a high absolute humidity continue to be under investigation.
In addition to the vehicles transitioned from Safety Improvement Campaign 14V-353, vehicles that were the subject of, but not yet repaired under, the previously announced passenger front airbag inflator recalls 13V-132 and 14V-349 and that were sold or ever registered in the listed geographic locations also will be transitioned into the recall announced today. This transition is being undertaken to streamline the handling of all affected vehicles, each of which require replacement of the passenger front airbag inflator.
Honda is not aware of any claimed injuries or fatalities that have been confirmed in the identified population related to this recall.
Honda is announcing these market actions to encourage owners to take their vehicles to an authorized Honda or Acura dealer as soon as they receive notification from Honda or Acura. Mailed notification to customers will begin in early-Dec. 2014. Additionally, at that time, concerned owners of these models will be able to access more information at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com or by calling (800) 999-1009 for Honda owners or (800) 382-2238 for Acura owners, and selecting option 4.
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By Chris Bruce
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