After ordering an initial recall on 25 June 2014, Honda expanded the operation by over one million additional vehicles in early July. The extended recall not only applies to a larger number of vehicles but also includes a wider range of states in the United States. The Japanese automaker was urged to action after becoming aware of a May 2014 accident, in California, involving a 2005 Honda Accord. The two known fatalities which have resulted from faulty Takata airbags also involved Honda vehicles, although the defect has also affected dozens of other models across at least nine automakers.
Defective Takata Airbags
Honda is Takata’s largest client and has already recalled over six million vehicles for faulty airbags.
Takata airbags are thought to suffer from a malfunctioning propellant which can prematurely explode in hot and humid climates. The propellant has also been found to accelerate too quickly, causing the airbag module to launch a wave of metal shards in the direction of the person the airbag is designed to protect.
Apart from Honda, the Japanese airbag manufacturer supplies a wide variety of other automakers, which have issued recalls of their own as a result. Overall, over 11 million cars have been recalled for faulty Takata airbags and this number continues to grow as additional affected vehicles are identified. The identification process has been slowed down by a lack of adequate record keeping on Takata’s part, a mistake the auto parts manufacturer has admitted responsibility for.
Mother & Child Killed from Faulty Airbag
Faulty Takata airbags are responsible for at least two deaths. On Christmas Eve 2009, a mother and her children were driving in a 2001 Honda Accord and were involved in a minor accident with a mail truck. Although the crash was reported as mild and material damage was limited, the mother was killed after the steering wheel airbag exploded and released a torrent of small metal fragments at high velocities. Earlier that same year, another victim suffered a fatal injury after hitting another car at her High School parking lot while driving a 2001 Honda Accord. Much like in the previous case, the airbag deployed with excessive force, launching shrapnel that opened the carotid artery in the driver’s neck.
Airbag Recalls Swell
Honda’s recall has gradually grown over the past five years, as additional affected models are discovered and reported. Originally, the automobile manufacturer had recalled certain makes and years but Honda has recently expanded to recalls in the following states:
- Puerto Rico
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- South Carolina
These states have been targeted for the heat and humidity that characterize them. Affected models are the 2001–2007 Accord, 2001–2005 Civic, and the 2002–2006 CRV.
Although the total number of vehicles most recently identified for airbag issues remains undisclosed, the current estimate is of at least two million automobiles in the United States alone. If you drive a car that falls under the recall order, it is highly recommended that you follow up with your dealership. Taking your vehicle in for repairs will help reduce the risk of malfunctioning components and will aid in ensuring your safety.
Get A Free Case Evaluation
Should you or a loved one be involved in an accident during which an airbag malfunctioned, it is exceedingly recommended that you report the incident. Making these events known to the company and to the public helps protect others, and by being made aware of faulty auto components, we can hold manufacturers liable.
The legal team at Pope McGlamry has over 40 years of experience in product liability and can offer you expert legal representation. Contact us to schedule a free a consultation, where we will provide a comprehensive review of your case.