Airbags were designed to prevent injury and save lives, not to inflict harm. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined a severe safety threat to individuals who own vehicles equipped with airbags by Takata, the world's largest manufacturer of airbags.
What is the problem?
Takata's unique combination of airbag elements includes ammonium nitrate. Factors such as location of vehicle storage will influence how quickly the ammonium nitrate burns. When it burns too quickly in a collision, the ammonium nitrate can cause the bag to rupture and spray the driver or other occupants with metal shrapnel.
Which vehicles are in the recall?
Recalls for these airbags were formerly released between 2008 and 2011, and 70 percent of the cars in question have been repaired. However, Honda says there are still more than 300,000 vehicles that have yet to trade in the potentially harmful airbags.
Although more than 12 car companies install Takata airbags in their vehicles, eight of 10 reported fatalities as a result of faulty airbags occurred in 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles. According to the NHTSA, these vehicles afforded the most concern, rupturing at rates as high as 50 percent in a laboratory setting.
See below for a full list of the Honda and Acura vehicles in this new warning and the general Takata recall:
- 2001 - 2007 Honda Accord
- 2001 - 2005 Honda Civic
- 2002 - 2006 Honda CR-V
- 2003 - 2011 Honda Element
- 2002 - 2004 Honda Odyssey
- 2003 - 2007 Honda Pilot
- 2006 - Honda Ridgeline
- 2003 - 2006 Acura MDX
- 2002 - 2003 Acura TL/CL
- 2005 - Acura RL
What should vehicles owners do?
Federal regulators say that individuals who own the 2001-2003 vehicles should not drive their car until the airbags are replaced. As part of the recall, customers receive free replacement parts and labor.
Anyone who experiences serious injury as a result of a defective Takata airbag should seek legal counsel immediately. Victims have a right to seek compensation for their expenses and injuries.