The Takata airbag recall seems never-ending, with this latest one announced by Honda demonstrating that the whole sorry saga is capable of throwing up some bizarre twists, too.
The Japanese automaker announced on Tuesday, March 15 that it’s recalling 1.1 million Honda and Acura vehicles in the U.S. to replace faulty Takata airbag inflators which themselves were fitted as part of an earlier replacement program.
That’s right — it’s a recall recalling airbags fitted as part of a previous recall.
Honda said the inflators that need changing could — like other faulty Takata inflators — rupture and spray shrapnel inside the car, potentially causing fatal injuries to its occupants.
Tens of millions of vehicles made by pretty much every major automaker have been impacted by the Takata recalls, with the faulty inflators linked to more than 20 deaths and 300 injuries globally over the last decade.
With that in mind, you should act swiftly if your Honda or Acura vehicle is part of this latest recall.
What to do
Fifteen different vehicle models built between 2001 and 2016 are being called in by Honda. We’ve listed them at the end of this article. The recall notice said owners should check their vehicle’s status as soon as possible and, if necessary, take their car to a dealer for repair. This can be done at recalls.acura.com and recalls.honda.com or by calling (888) 234-2138. The company will also send out reminder notices by mail starting in early April.
“Replacement parts are available, all from alternate suppliers, to begin free recall repairs immediately, and a free rental car is available to the vehicle owner for the day of the recall repair or longer if a replacement part is temporarily unavailable,” Honda said.
In a statement, the company explained that the vehicles involved in this recall “were previously repaired using specific Takata desiccated replacement inflators (PSDI-5D) or entire replacement airbag modules containing these inflators,” though neither were subject to a recall at that time. But those replacement inflators have now been deemed defective.
Honda said it became aware of a potential issue after learning of a single-vehicle crash involving a 2004 Honda Odyssey. In the incident, the Odyssey’s driver-side airbag deployed and the Takata replacement inflator ruptured, injuring the driver’s arm.
A subsequent investigation revealed that the PSDI-5D inflators experienced manufacturing process errors that introduced excessive moisture into the inflator during assembly.
As has already been learned with the Takata recall, moisture within the sealed inflator can lead to accelerated propellant degradation over time, resulting in higher than normal inflator pressure when the airbag deploys.
“If a recalled driver front airbag deploys in a crash, its inflator may rupture, potentially shooting sharp metal fragments at the driver and passengers,” Honda warned.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has described the ongoing Takata airbag inflator recall as “the largest and most complex vehicle recall in U.S. history.” It said it expects that a total of around 70 million defective Takata airbag inflators will have been recalled by 19 automakers by the end of this year, with around 17 million still in need of replacement.
Below are the Acura and Honda models included in the recall announced on March 12, 2019:
• 2003 Acura 3.2CL
• 2013-2016 Acura ILX
• 2003-2006 Acura MDX
• 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
• 2004-2006 and 2009-2014 Acura TL
• 2007-2016 Acura RDX
• 2010-2013 Acura ZDX
• 2001-2007 and 2009 Honda Accord
• 2001-2005 Honda Civic
• 2002-2007 and 2010-2011 Honda CR-V
• 2003-2011 Honda Element
• 2007 Honda Fit
• 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
• 2003-2008 Honda Pilot
• 2006-2014 Honda Ridgeline
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