Honda Expands Prior Recall
TORRANCE, Calif. — Honda announced Tuesday that it has added 378,758 vehicles in the U.S. to a previously announced recall of certain 2001 and 2002 model-year vehicles to replace the driver's airbag inflator.
Specifically, the automaker added certain 2001 and 2002 Accord, Civic, Odyssey, and CR-V models to the recall, as well as certain 2002 Acura TL units. Honda said it is also including one Honda Pilot and one Acura CL vehicle — each of which was built in late 2002 — in the recall.
Explaining these additions, Honda stated: "The driver's airbag inflators in these vehicles may deploy with too much pressure, which can cause the inflator casing to rupture and could result in injury or fatality."
As of February, the automaker said it has knowledge of 12 incidents related to this particular issue, and said there have been no incidents since July.
"While Honda was aware of two additional events when the decision to first expand the recall was made in July 2009, we are not aware of any new events that have occurred after July 2009," officials shared in Tuesday's statement. "However, we have concluded that we cannot be completely certain that the driver's airbag inflator in the vehicles being added to this recall at this time will perform as designed."
Honda will begin notifying customers this month, and urges owners to take these vehicles to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive notification.
The mailed notifications will be followed by a telephone call to each affected customer, officials stated.
The automaker said it originally told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about this matter and has kept authorities up-to-date.
"When Honda identifies concerns of this nature, nothing is more important to the company than fulfilling our obligation and responsibility to alert our customers," executives shared. "To this end, as with the July 2009 recall expansion, in addition to contacting customers by mail, owners of these vehicles will be able to determine if their vehicle requires repair by going on-line or calling."
Offering a little background on the recall, Honda explained that 16 months ago, it told NHTSA that it planned to recall less than 4,000 model-year 2001 Accords and Civics. This was to replace the driver's airbag inflator, which Honda said was "based on our analysis of four instances attributed to the cause of airbag deployments that resulted in rupture of the driver's airbag inflator."
Two additional incidents — including one death from a vehicle not involved in the recall — were reported following the initial recall in November 2008.
Honda said that its ongoing analysis pointed to the potential for additional vehicles to show this problem. So, it broadened the recall in July to include roughly 440,000 model-year 2001 and 2001 Accords and Civics, and certain 2002 Acura TL vehicles.
"If the driver's airbag deploys in an affected vehicle, the driver's airbag inflator could produce excessive internal pressure which may cause the airbag inflator casing to rupture, resulting in metal fragments passing through the airbag cushion material and possibly causing injury or fatality to vehicle occupants," officials explained.
"There were two types (of) manufacturing machines used in pressing the inflator propellant. One propellant manufacturing process allowed us to verify that all of the propellant was within specification, but we cannot validate the other process to our satisfaction at this time," they continued.
Officials added: "We have decided to recall all inflator assemblies that were not confirmed by 100-percent automatic inspection during production because we cannot be absolutely certain they will all perform as designed, even though recent testing of units from this production process performed correctly."