“This is a very serious thing; people need to get their cars fixed. This is not something to wait on.”
Those are the words Honda spokesman Chris Martin told the Los Angeles Times after Honda announced that another 304,000 cars (273,000 in the United States) are being recalled due to an airbag problem that has already killed two drivers.
In the impacted vehicles, all from 2001-2003 (certain ’01-’03 Civic and Odyssey, ’01-’02 Accord, ’02-’03 CR-V and Acura 3.2 TL, and 2003 versions of the Pilot and Acura 3.2 CL), the propellant that launches the driver’s side airbag is too strong.
The airbag can deploy with such force that a metal inflator casing ruptures showering the car occupants with metal and plastic shrapnel.
“The propellant was packed improperly and that allows the propellant to burn off too quickly and it explodes and pieces of the casing are causing the injuries,” Martin told the Los Angeles Times.
Honda said that there have been 20 reported cases of this malfunction causing injuries, including a pair of deaths in 2009 — both in the United States.
The Japanese automaker is also checking an additional 603,000 vehicles that may have received the faulty parts in collision repairs.
This is the fourth separate recall that has been required for the faulty driver’s side airbags. The problem was found three years ago and has affected over two million vehicles, but Honda believes they have finally accounted for all troubled vehicles.
To see if you car is included, Honda owners can log on to www.recalls.honda.com or call (800) 999-1009 and select option four. Acura owners can go to www.recalls.acura.com or call (800) 382-2238 and select option four. You will need to have the VIN number available to check to see if your vehicle is affected.