Honda issues ‘Do Not Drive’ warning over air bags in cars
Honda Motor on Friday issued a “Do Not Drive” warning for 8,200 Acura and Honda vehicles with unrepaired Takata air bag inflators in the United States.
The urgent warning covers various 2001-2003 Honda Accord, Civic, CR-V, Odyssey and Pilot models and Acura 3.2CL and 3.2TL vehicles with so-called “Alpha” inflators.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said owners of these vehicles should not drive them until they get repairs, warning that “the risk to vehicle occupants is dire.”
More than 30 deaths worldwide — including at least 23 US fatalities — and hundreds of injuries in various automakers’ vehicles since 2009 are linked to Takata air bag inflators that can explode, unleashing potentially deadly metal shrapnel inside vehicles.
NHTSA said last month a February death of the driver of a 2002 Accord in Bowling Green, Kentucky, was due to a faulty air bag inflator. Honda has reported 17 US deaths and more than 200 injuries in the United States related to Takata inflator ruptures.
Over the last decade, more than 67 million Takata air bag inflators have been recalled in the United States and more than 100 million worldwide, in the biggest auto safety callback in history.
Honda said Friday it has attempted to reach owners more than 18.3 million times including mailed notifications, emails, phone calls and door-to-door visits. The Japanese automaker emphasized it is offering free towing and loaner vehicles for the free recall repair. Honda has to date replaced or accounted for more than 99% of the “Alpha” inflators.
Honda said “we’re concerned for the safety of those who have not responded and are now adopting the new Stop Driving messaging to spur them to act.”
In November, Chrysler parent Stellantis urged owners of 276,000 older US vehicles to immediately stop driving after three crash deaths tied to faulty Takata air bag inflators were reported.
The NHTSA said the Takata recalls were spurred by propellant that could break down after long-term exposure to temperature fluctuations and humidity.