On February 3, Honda Motor Co. announced that it is expanding its recall of Honda and Acura vehicles installed with dangerous Takata airbags. This action is for 2.23 million vehicles and takes the total number of recalled Honda and Acura vehicles to 8.51 million in the United States alone.
The problem with the airbags has to do with the explosive chemical used in the airbag’s inflator, the metal casing containing the airbag. The inflators used in Takata airbags contain the chemical ammonium nitrate, which can break down over time, especially in moist or humid conditions. When the airbag deploys, it can rupture and shoot dangerous metal shards into the vehicle’s cabin.
At least ten deaths worldwide (nine in the United States) have been reported as a result of the airbag defect, and more than 100 injuries.
Takata and Honda have known about the problem since at least 2004, when an airbag rupture was confirmed in an Alabama woman’s 2002 Honda Accord. The manufacturers regarded the incident at the time as an anomaly and choose not to alert safety regulators. Four years later in 2008, Honda issued its first recall for the airbag defect, covering only 4,000 vehicles.
Since then, the airbag defect has expanded into the largest auto recall in history. Fourteen automakers have recalled 24 million vehicles installed with defective Takata inflators. This is a big number; however, it may still only represent a fraction of the total problem.
According to the New York Times, based off information it obtained from Valient Market Research, Takata has sold up to 54 million inflators using ammonium nitrate in the United States. Globally, Valient places the number of Takata inflators with the chemical shipped to automakers between 80 and 100 million. This means there are millions of vehicles currently on the road with potentially defective Takata airbags, which haven’t been fixed or even recalled.
This fact was highlighted in a tragic incident this December that prompted the most recent expansion of the airbag recall. 52-year-old Joel Knight was killed by shrapnel from his truck’s Takata airbag after he hit a stray cow on a South Carolina highway. No recall had been issued for his truck, a 2006 Ford Ranger.
The models affected by Honda Motor’s February 3 recall are:
- 2005-2012 Acura RL
- 2007-2011 Honda CR-V
- 2007-2016 Acura RDX (early production MY 2016 vehicles only)
- 2007-2014 Honda Ridgeline
- 2009-2014 Honda Fit
- 2009-2014 Acura TL
- 2010-2014 Acura FCX Clarity
- 2010-2014 Honda Insight
- 2010-2013 Acura ZDX
- 2011-2015 Honda CR-Z
- 2013-2016 Acura ILX (early production MY 2016 vehicles only)
Owners of these vehicles can expect to receive a letter within the next 60 days informing them of the recall.
The list is growing and even though Honda issued a recall in 2008, it continued to use the Takata airbags in all models of Hondas and as late as 2016 models.
We want to help
The attorneys at Cory Watson are representing people who have been injured by defective airbags. We believe that consumers deserve the security of knowing that the products they use are safe. Your car’s airbag should not potentially maim or kill you; it should do the exact opposite.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a defective airbag, our attorneys are ready to help. Please give us a call at 1-877-562-0000 to receive a free consultation or follow this link to fill out a case evaluation form on our website.
For the latest information on vehicle recalls (including the Takata airbag recall), check out this link: safecar.gov