The federal government’s warning to 2001-2003 Honda/Acura owners urged them to avoid driving their vehicles — starting immediately. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that the defective Takata airbag inflators in these vehicles have shown a far higher risk of rupture during deployment than other recalled Takata airbags.
What Models Are Affected?
The NHTSA warning applies to the following Honda and Acura models:
- 2001-2002 Honda Accord
- 2001-2002 Honda Civic
- 2002 Honda CR-V
- 2002 Honda Odyssey
- 2003 Honda Pilot
- 2002-2003 Acura TL
- 2003 Acura CL
If you own or drive one of these vehicles, you should get the necessary repairs immediately and do not drive the vehicle unless you are driving to the dealership to get the recall repairs.
Why Are These Vehicles More Dangerous Than Others?
The defect in the Takata airbags is the chemical compound used to inflate the airbags. Over time, and with exposure to heat and humidity, the chemical can degrade, igniting too quickly upon deployment and causing the metal inflator to shatter.
The airbag inflators in these Honda and Acura models are known as “Alpha inflators.” These are the oldest of the defective inflators, and, as such, are more prone to exploding. In fact, according to the NHTSA, these airbags “pose a 50 percent risk” of failure. As of April 2018, over half of the confirmed Takata airbag-related fatalities in the U.S. resulted from these Alpha inflators.
Takata Airbags in Honda and Acura Vehicles Have Caused Serious Injuries
Defective Takata airbags have ruptured upon deployment, sending dangerous metal shrapnel at drivers and passengers. Lacerations to the face and neck have resulted in serious injuries and death.
Corey Burdick was one driver whose life was forever changed when the Takata airbag in his 2001 Honda Civic ruptured during a minor incident. Metal shrapnel from the airbag hit Burdick in his right eye, leaving him permanently disfigured and blind in that eye.
Burdick’s vehicle had been recalled several times, but he did not receive any of the recall notices. Many vehicles remain on the road that have not yet received recall repairs to fix defective Takata airbags.
Are There Any Other Inflators I Need to Worry About?
All recalled Takata airbags that have not been replaced are dangerous. However, there are certain airbags — in addition to the Honda and Acura models listed above — that are more dangerous than others.
Ford and Mazda issued a “Do Not Drive” warning in February 2018 for certain 2006 Ford Rangers and 2006 Mazda B-Series trucks. The warning urged drivers to stop driving their vehicles and to immediately call their local Ford dealer for a replacement. Ford will also send mobile repair teams out to replace the airbags. Two people died due to airbag explosions in Ford Rangers.
The NHTSA also warns against driving these vehicles unless you “are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately.”
What to Do If You Have a Recalled Airbag
If you have a vehicle on the list above, do not drive your vehicle and call your dealership immediately. If they cannot fix your vehicle within a timely manner, request a rental car. This will keep you and your passengers safe and ensure you are still able to get to work or drive your kids to school.
However, it is important to note that the recall involves vehicles from 19 different automakers. You can check whether your vehicle is under recall with our Takata Recall Search Tool. Simply enter your VIN number and read your results. If your airbag has been recalled, call your dealer for a replacement immediately.
What to Do If a Defective Airbag Injured You
You may have legal options for compensation if a defective airbag caused your injuries. Our defective airbags attorneys can evaluate your case to determine whether you may pursue legal remedies against the manufacturer.
The first thing you must do if you were injured by a defective airbag is to preserve the evidence. If you are able to obtain the airbag, be sure to store it in a safe place to protect it.
You should discuss your case with a defective airbags lawyer as soon as practicable. This will allow you to determine whether you might have a valid case for compensation. An experienced airbag attorney can also help you preserve the evidence.
Contact Newsome Melton for a Free Case Evaluation
The defective product team at Newsome Melton wants to help you. During a free consultation, we can determine whether you might have a valid case and whether we might be able to help you recover the compensation you need for your injuries and other losses. Call Newsome Melton at 888-808-5977 to schedule a case evaluation with one of our product liability attorneys.
If we decide to take your case, our attorneys can help gather evidence, negotiate a potential settlement, and take your case to trial if necessary. Call us today to get answers about your legal options.
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