About 50 million Takata airbags have been recalled for a dangerous risk of explosion when they deploy. Although 19 automakers are involved in the recall, Honda, Takata’s biggest customer, accounts for 20 million of the recalled airbags, and more than four million of those have not yet been replaced.
Honda has been issuing recalls for vehicles with Takata airbags since 2008, but the pace rapidly increased in 2014 as the extent of the deaths and injuries associated with the airbags became publicly known. All of the affected airbags use a propellant containing the volatile chemical ammonium nitrate, which is housed in a metal canister inside the steering wheel or dash. In a crash that requires an airbag deployment the propellant is ignited to create gas that rapidly inflates the airbag cushion. When exposed to moisture and heat for prolonged periods, ammonium nitrate can ignite expelling too much gas to quickly, overpressurizing the metal canister and causing it to break apart spewing metal shrapnel into the occupant compartment. At least 23 people have died worldwide, and hundreds more have been injured, often in only mild crashes.
Which Honda Models Are on the Recall List?
Many 2001 to 2016 Honda models are included recalls related to Takata airbag defects and a subset of these recalled vehicles has proven to be even more dangerous because of manufacturing problems that only worsened the problem. Those vehicles include 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles driver side airbags which were made with ammonium nitrate propellant that left exposed to moisture in the factory. These driver airbag inflators are referred to as the “Alpha” design because they were the first inflators originally recalled and the manufacturing defect was readily identifiable as the primary cause. In testing on recovered inflators, NHTSA discovered that the Alpha inflators exploded in 50 percent of the simulated crashes prompting Honda and NHTSA to note the added urgency for replacement in models with this design. These models include the following:
- 2001-2002 Honda Accord
- 2001-2002 Honda Civic
- 2002 Honda CR-V
- 2002 Honda Odyssey
- 2003 Honda Pilot
- 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
- 2003 Acura 3.2CL
Other vehicles affected include:
- 2003-2012 Honda Accord
- 2003-2011 Honda Civic
- 2003-2011 Honda Civic Hybrid
- 2001-2011 Honda Civic NGV
- 2010-2015 Honda Crosstour
- 2003-2011 Honda CR-V
- 2011-2015 Honda CR-Z
- 2003-2011 Honda Element
- 2010-2014 Honda FCX Clarity
- 2007-2013 Honda Fit
- 2013-2014 Honda Fit EV
- 2010-2014 Honda Insight
- 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
- 2003-2015 Honda Pilot
- 2006-2014 Honda Ridgeline
- 2013-2016 Acura ILX
- 2013-2014 Acura ILX Hybrid
- 2003-2006 Acura MDX
- 2007-2016 Acura RDX
- 2005-2012 Acura RL
- 2009-2014 Acura TL
- 2009-2014 Acura TSX
- 2010-2013 Acura ZDX
What If There Is a Recall on My Honda?
If your Honda is on the list of recalled vehicles, you can get your airbag replaced at any authorized Honda or Acura dealership service center for free. You may also qualify for a free rental car to use while your car is in the shop, or until the dealership has the parts in stock to complete your replacement.
In addition, you may be eligible to file a claim to recover up to $250 in out-of-pocket costs resulting from this recall, thanks to a settlement agreement in a class action case against the automaker. This could include compensation for:
- The cost of a rental car
- Lost wages because of the replacement
- Childcare during the replacement
- Other expenses directly related to the recall
The millions of vehicles left unrepaired highlight failures of the recall system which include manufacturers’ long delays in initiating the recalls, their use of outdated ownership and address information, and the lack of or delayed replacement part availability. To determine whether your vehicle has an unrepaired recall visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and enter your Vehicle Information Number (VIN).
If you suffered an injury from flying debris in a crash where your Honda airbag deployed, you may have a valid claim against Takata and the automaker. Newsome Melton can help you understand if you have a viable case. Call us today at 888-808-5977 for a free case evaluation.
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