HONDA EXPANDS AIRBAG RECALL
The Japan-based automaker said late Wednesday that certain Honda and Acura vehicles from the 2005-2016 model years are being recalled to replace the Takata-manufactured PSDI-5 driver-side front airbag inflators.
The decision raises the number of Honda and Acura autos involved in the growing list of airbag safety recalls to 8.51 million vehicles, the company said. Honda said it has received no reports of inflator ruptures from the affected Takata airbags in any of the company's vehicles worldwide.
The company plans to replace the recalled inflators with new parts from an alternative supplier free of charge to Honda and Acura vehicle owners. Due to the large volume of required repairs, Honda said the necessary replacement parts won't be available until the summer of 2016.
As a result, Honda said owners of affected vehicles will be alerted to the recall in an initial notification letter within 60 days. As soon as replacement parts become available, Honda said the company will send a second notification letter with instructions for owners to arrange for repairs at local authorized U.S. dealers.
The list of specific vehicle identification numbers included in the recall hasn't yet been determined, Honda said. Owners should be able to accurately search their vehicles' recall status on Honda websites or the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by Feb. 15, the company said.
Models subject to the new recall include:
2005-2012 Acura RL
2007-2011 Honda CR-V
2007-2016 Acura RDX (early production model year 2016 vehicles only)
2007-2014 Honda Ridgeline
2009-2014 Honda Fit
2009-2014 Acura TL
2010-2014 Honda FCX Clarity
2010-2014 Honda Insight
2010-2013 Acura ZDX
2011-2015 Honda CR-Z
2013-2016 Acura ILX (early production model year 2016 vehicles only)
Honda said the most up-to-date consumer information about the recalls can be obtained at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com, or by calling 888-234-2138.
Federal auto-safety regulators said in late January that they expected to add an additional 5 million vehicles of several automakers Takata air bag recalls, in part because they had identified a tenth death attributable to defective inflators.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that its investigators believe a South Carolina driver was killed in December when an inflator in a Takata airbag exploded. When such an incident occurs, victims are struck by metal and plastic shrapnel.
The fatal air bag deployment occurred in a 2006 Ford Ranger pickup, making it the first such death in a vehicle other than a Honda.
The fatality marked the ninth death attributed to the air bag inflators in the U.S. One death was also reported overseas.
As a result, NHTSA said the recall would be expanded again to include about 1 million vehicles that use the type of driver-side air bag inflator found in the Ranger. In addition, another 4 million other cars and trucks could be subject to recall because they use a different type of inflator that ruptured three times in recent tests of the Toyota RAV4, NHTSA said. Auto brands involved include Ford, Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
The additions would join previously-ordered recalls for 23 million ammonium-nitrate inflators in 19 million vehicles in the U.S.