The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says there are 313,000 Honda and Acura vehicles in the United States that have Takata airbag inflators with have a manufacturing defect that makes them much more likely to rupture upon deployment and shoot metal fragments into the cabin.
Included in this cohort of cars are the Honda Civic and Accord from 2001 and 2002, 2002 and 2003 Acura TL, 2002 Honda CR-V and Odyssey and 2003 Acura CL and Honda Pilot. The NHTSA says these cars were recalled between 2008 and 2011, and Honda reports that 70 percent have been repaired. But that leaves the aforementioned 313,000 cars and crossovers on the roads with these especially trouble-prone components.
“The air bag inflators in this particular group of vehicles pose a grave danger to drivers and passengers that must be fixed right away,” said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind, who recommends drivers check whether their vehicle is affected.
The NHTSA says Honda has promised to do more to seek out the whereabouts and owners of the affected cars, and the NHTSA itself is expanding its own efforts with a paid media campaign and outreach events in "high risk" areas this summer. Cars that have been registered and/or operated in areas where high humidity is common are at higher risk, like the southeastern U.S. Parts of Canada are also known for hot, humid summers, so we're curious to see whether Transport Canada issues a similar alert for any "high risk" Honda vehicles in Canada.
At the root of the Takata airbag recall are inflators in which ammonium nitrate propellant degrades over time, a process accelerated by humidity and high temperatures; that degradation causes the propellant to burn too quickly, rupturing the inflator module and turning the fragments of it into dangerous projectiles.
List of Affected Vehicles (NHTSA)
- 2001-2002 Honda Accord
- 2001-2002 Honda Civic
- 2002 Honda CR-V
- 2003 Honda Pilot
- 2002 Honda Odyssey
- 2003 Acura CL
- 2002-2003 Acura TL