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Air Bag Troubles Lead To Similar Recalls From Honda And Nissan

February 21, 2012

Air Bag Troubles Lead to Similar Recalls from Honda and Nissan

Expanded Honda Recall

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has expanded its initial January 31, 2012 air bag recall of certain Honda and Acura models from 347 vehicles to 974.  In their letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Honda explains this recall now includes some Honda Civic and Acura MDX models as well. 

Automakers and the NHTSA often expand vehicle recalls when additional defect information or new accident reports become available and indicate other vehicles may also pose a danger.  NHTSA explains that the Recall Management Division (RMD) keeps track of the administrative records for all safety recalls and monitors their progress.  If the RMD sees a problem with the recall’s execution or adequacy, this can “result in expanding the scope of previously announced recalls, or in the adjustment of existing recall remedies.”

This expanded Honda recall addresses a potential defect in the driver or passenger side curtain airbag inflators of some 2012 models.  The Japanese automaker explains in their recall notice that an incorrect air bag propellant mixture could prevent the side curtain air bag from deploying during a crash, increasing the risk of injury to vehicle occupants. 

The manufacturer explains that affected owners will be notified of the defect by mail and asked to bring their vehicles in to a dealer for the replacement of the side curtain air bag assemblies.     

Nissan’s Air Bag Recall

Just a few weeks after announcing a major recall of over 36,000 vehicles for a transmission defect that allowed some vehicles to be shifted into gear without depressing the brake, NHTSA has announced Nissan’s recall of 976 vehicles for a side air bag defect.  Like Honda, this recall results from an incorrect propellant mixture that may have been used in the initiator component of the vehicles’ side curtain air bags.

The faulty propellant mixture means air bags may not have a sufficient compressed gas output.  This may prevent side curtain air bags from deploying, increasing the injury risk to vehicle occupants during a crash. 

Models affected by this air bag defect include 2012 Altima and Versa vehicles.  Driver and passenger side curtain airbag assembly manufacturer Autoliv North America is mentioned in both the Nissan and Honda recall letters as the supplier of some of the faulty components. 

Nissan’s safety recall is expected to begin on February 27 and will include the replacement of one or both of the side air bag modules. 

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