Posted by Eric T. Chaffin
January 23, 2015 10:50 AM
CBS News recently reported that Honda continues to expand vehicles recalls because of potentially faulty Takata air bags.
In response to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) call for a nationwide recall of all driver’s side Takata air bags, Honda announced in December 2014 that it was planning a global investigative recall. Such a recall would involve not only replacing potentially defective air bags, but studying replaced parts in the hopes of discovering exactly what may be causing the air bags to explode and shoot out dangerous plastic and metal shards into the interior of the vehicle.
Then, just before Christmas, the automaker again announced a recall of over 1,000 Crosstour vehicles (2015 model year) because of faulty side air bags—again, made by Takata. Honda has received no reports of injuries or deaths associated with this recall, but noted that the air bags may not deploy properly because of inflator tube defects.
Responsibility for Air Bag Replacements Falling on Auto Manufacturers
On December 3, 2014, the New York Times reported that Honda was expanding its recall of driver’s side air bags beyond the regional recalls previously implemented. Takata had conducted internal company tests on the air bags, and found that they seemed to be more prone to exploding when exposed to high heat and humidity. They then established recalls in areas like Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands.
After these recalls were implemented, a couple accidents in which air bags exploded occurred in states not typically associated with humid, hot climates. Takata came under criticism for failing to expand its recalls as a result. In October 2014, the NHTSA called for a nationwide recall of all driver’s side air bags, but Takata has resisted such an expansion, claiming there is not enough evidence to support it.
Honda, meanwhile, responded, expanding recalls in all 50 states. Other automakers, including Chrysler, Ford, and Toyota, have also expanded previous recalls.
Honda Recalls Vehicles in China
As part of its global investigative recall, Honda announced another air bag recall in China in December 2014. This recall affected nearly 570,000 vehicles, including the following:
- Honda Accords (2002 to 2007)
- Honda Elysion Minivans (2012 to 2014)
- Honda Fit Saloon Cars (2002 to 2003)
Honda will replace driver’s side air bags in these vehicles. In response to concerns that Takata will not be able to keep up with demand for replacement parts, the automaker is looking into two alternative suppliers that may be able to help fill the gap as more and more car owners respond to recall notices. Honda has also delayed the China recall until February 28, 2015, because of lack of available replacement parts.
So far, no serious injuries or deaths have been linked with the recalled vehicles in China.
The NHTSA has not called for a nationwide recall of Takata passenger side air bags (only driver’s side bags), stating there has not been any data to support such a recall.