Honda recalls 1.6 million cars over Takata airbags

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Honda recalls 1.6 million cars over Takata airbags
29 June 2019
By Sommer Brokaw

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A general view is shown of the Takata facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA. File Photo by Jeff Kowalsky/EPA

June 29 (UPI) -- Honda is recalling 1.6 million cars in the United States over Takata airbags with reports confirming 14 related deaths and over 200 injuries earlier this year.

The recall impacts Honda and Acura car owners who will get free replacement of Takata front airbag inflators, Honda said in a statement.

The company added that it is six months ahead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's deadline for the recall, as this recall of 1.6 million cars marks the fifth and final phase of the recall.

"Phase 5 to occur ahead of NHTSA schedule due to significant Acura and Honda repair progress on existing recalls and adequate replacement parts supplies to repair all affected models," Honda's statement said. "The company also has adequate replacement parts, all from alternative suppliers, to repair all affected Acura and Honda models, including those in the expanded population."

As of June 7, "Honda's overall Takata inflator recall completion rate was 83 percent, including yearly scheduled recall expansions since May 2016," the company added.

NHTSA has found the problem is airbags that use ammonium nitrate-based propellant without a chemical drying agent. Long-term exposure to high temperature fluctuations and humidity breaks down the propellant in these inflators. This can cause it to burn too quickly, create too much pressure on the inflators, "and in extreme cases, the inflator explodes, shooting shrapnel toward vehicle occupants."

Honda confirmed the 14th death in Honda vehicles in March. Sixteen deaths were confirmed in the United States related to the rupture of faulty Takata airbag inflators including two in Ford vehicles.

"The Takata airbag recalls are the largest and most complex vehicle recalls in U.S. history," NHTSA states. "Currently these recalls involve 19 vehicle manufacturers and approximately 46 million Takata airbag inflators in an estimated 34 million vehicles in the United States alone."

The Japanese automobile parts manufacturers Takata Corp. filed for bankruptcy a couple years ago as it came under press from lawsuits and recall costs worldwide.

Former workers told The New York Times that Takata was aware of and hid defects of its airbags for four years before the first recall over rupture risks in 2008.

 

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