Honda recalls 304,000 vehicles globally for airbag problems linked to injuries and deaths
December 2, 2011 by Yuri Kageyama The Associated Press
Honda Motor Co. is recalling 304,000 vehicles globally for airbags that may inflate with too much pressure in a crash, send metal and plastic pieces flying and cause injuries or deaths.
Honda said there have been 20 accidents so far related to this problem, including two deaths in the U.S. in 2009.
“Although there have been no reported incidents in Canada, Honda is aware of several incidents in other markets related to the earlier recalls, and is announcing this new expansion to encourage all owners of included vehicles to take their vehicle to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive mailed notification from Honda,” Honda Canada said.
The recall affects the Accord, Civic, Odyssey, Pilot, CR-V and other models manufactured in 2001 and 2002.
The recall spans 273,000 vehicles in the U.S., some 27,000 in Canada, nearly 2,000 vehicles in Japan and another 2,000 in other countries. It affected 359 vehicles in Europe — 200 in Germany, 158 in Israel and one in Great Britain, according to Honda.
The latest recall is an expansion of recalls for the same problem in 2008, and again carried out in 2009, as well as last year. The recall now covers about two million vehicles worldwide, according to Tokyo-based Honda.
Honda spokesman Hajime Kaneko said the cause for the latest recall was the use of incorrect material in the chemical used to deploy airbags.
The initial cause of the recall was excessive moisture in the inflator propellant, which is part of what inflates the airbag.
But that problem was found later to affect more vehicles than initially estimated, as incidents didn’t stop, and the recall was expanded to account for the possibility that the problem was caused by a defective stamping machine used during production, he said.
Honda is extremely sorry about the recalls but believes the problem has now been taken care of, with no more recalls linked to this problem expected, he said.
Also included in the latest recall are 912 airbag service parts sold for installation in vehicles for collision repair and other reasons, Honda said.