It’s uncommon for two vehicle manufacturers to recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles for similar reasons in the same week. Nevertheless, this week both Suzuki and Honda recalled more than a combined 400,000 vehicles due to problems with the airbags. Suzuki recalled approximately 193,936 Grand Vitara and SX4 models due to the airbag’s sensor mat potentially failing and deploying in a crash whether or not the occupant is an adult or child. Honda is now recalling about 374,000 vehicles due to the possibility of the airbags deploying in the absence of an accident.
According to the New York Times, electrical interference may affect the airbags of approximately 318,000 model-year 2003 and 2004 Odyssey minivans and 56,000 Acura MDX sport utility vehicles from the 2003 model year. Honda is unaware of any crashes or injuries due to the airbag defect. The recall follows an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The investigation happened in June after the NHTSA received six complaints about the frontal airbags randomly deploying. Three of these complaints came from consumers who alleged that they sustained injuries caused by the air bag’s sudden deployment without a crash. A review of the documents submitted by Honda reveals that the issue has been the subject of at least a few consumer complaints since 2010. The issue may stem from a potentially defective chip in the airbag control unit, which Honda said may have “low noise toughness against electrical noise surges.” Issues with the same part resulted in 745,000 Jeep models being recalled last year, according to the New York Times. The part was provided by TRW Automotive Holdings.
According to USA Today, Honda dealers will “install an electrical noise filter adjacent to the airbag control unit” in order to fix the problem.