Honda recalls vehicles with defective air bags

Torrance, Calif. – American Honda Motor Company has recalled almost 500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective air bags, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects numerous models across the Honda brand, including:
  • 2003-2012 Honda Accord sedans produced between Aug. 30, 2002, and Oct. 27, 2011.
  • 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour crossovers produced between Feb. 17, 2010, and April 16, 2010.
  • 2001-2011 Honda Civic sedans produced between March 15, 2001, and March 14, 2011.
  • 2002-2011 Honda CR-V sport utility vehicles produced between April 24, 2002, and Oct. 5, 2011.
  • 2003-2004 Honda Element sport utility vehicles produced between June 27, 2003, and Aug. 25, 2004.
  • 2006-2008 Honda Element sport utility vehicles produced between Dec. 13, 2005, and Dec. 4, 2007.
  • 2011 Honda Element sport utility vehicles produced Oct. 22, 2010.
  • 2007 Honda Fit hatchbacks produced Jan. 23, 2007.
  • 2009-2013 Honda Fit hatchbacks produced between Aug. 27, 2008, and Aug. 7, 2013.
  • 2010-2012 Honda Insight hybrid hatchbacks produced between March 26, 2009, and April 18, 2012.
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey minivans produced between July 26, 2002, and June 25, 2004.
  • 2003-2012 Honda Pilot sport utility vehicles produced between July 11, 2002, and May 17, 2012.
  • 2012 Honda Ridgeline pickup trucks produced May 17, 2012.
Honda is unsure how many of the recalled vehicles contain the defective parts.
The Defect
Affected vehicles feature front air bag inflator assemblies that may have been installed improperly. Consequently, these components might not function as required in an accident, leaving drivers and passengers exposed should a collision occur. However, the Japanese automaker has yet to receive field reports connecting the defective air bag inflators to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
Personnel from an American Honda dealership on Feb. 14, 2008, notified regional Honda officials of multiple incorrectly installed and fastened air bag inflators, according to an internal chronology document given to the NHTSA. This finding prompted the automaker to launch an investigation. On March 3, 2018, another U.S. dealership reported the same issue. Honda investigators added the suspected range of affected vehicles at the second dealership to its inquiry. Less than one week later, a third U.S.-based dealership reported finding vehicles with incorrectly installed air bag inflators. Again, Honda widened its investigation.
On March 9, officials for the NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation met with Honda personnel to review the developing investigation. During this time, representatives walked NHTSA investigators through the original complaint, as well as the two supplemental inquiries that dealers had submitted since. Following this meeting, the regional stakeholders involved their counterparts in the national office.
On April 11 and April 19, national and regional Honda officials met with the ODI to determine how to address the air bag issue. Eventually, the parties agreed that a voluntary safety recall was necessary. Honda confirmed the VIN numbers for the affected vehicles April 21, and initiated an official recall April 25. The automaker notified dealerships of the impending action April 27.
The Solution
Honda has directed dealers to inspect and, if necessary, replace the defective air bag inflators in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. The car manufacturer intends to notify owners via first-class mail June 1. Individuals in possession of vehicles involved in the action who need assistance ahead of the recall start date can contact Honda customer service personnel by calling (888) 234-2138. Callers should use the internal campaign reference codes K1P and M10. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Sean ReyesHonda recalls vehicles with defective air bags