June 30, 2016 — Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took the unusual step of warning the public not to drive certain 2001 – 2003 Honda and Acura vehicles, due to the high likelihood of their Takata-made airbag inflators exploding in a crash. The agency says that within laboratory settings, the inflators have a 50% chance of exploding upon deployment.
In a statement issued this morning, NHTSA called the defect “dangerous” and the risk while driving “grave.”
The vehicles were originally recalled from 2008 to 2011 to fix the issue but according to NHTSA’s data, approximately 313,000 have not been repaired and are still on the road. Of the 10 confirmed U.S. fatalities resulting from a Takata airbag rupture, eight involved the vehicles in question.
The vehicles are:
- 2001-2002 Honda Civic
- 2001-2002 Honda Accord
- 2002-2003 Acura TL
- 2002 Honda CR-V
- 2002 Honda Odyssey
- 2003 Acura CL
- 2003 Honda Pilo
NHTSA has determined that the ammonium nitrate propellant is the culprit and said today, “Ruptures are far more likely in inflators in vehicles that spent significant periods of time in areas of high absolute humidity — particularly Florida, Texas and other parts of the Gulf Coast.”
The scope of the recall has now reached 70 million vehicles across 14 manufacturers in the U.S. since it began in 2013. According to NHTSA), approximately 8.1 million of the airbags have already been replaced. Of those 8.1 million, it’s certain that 2.1 million will have to be replaced again to remove the ammonium nitrate propellant. However, it’s likely that a total of 4 million of the 8.1 million newly replaced airbags will have to be replaced again by 2019.