Honda Air Bag Problem Leads to Recall of 304,000 Vehicles Worldwide

Honda recently announced it will be recalling over 300,000 vehicles worldwide due to air bag problems. The Honda recall has been issued for some of its most popular models, including the Accord, Civic, Odyssey, Pilot, and CR-V.

The recall affects driver-side airbags. According to a statement by Honda, the faulty airbags have been shown to inflate with too much pressure during a crash, which in turn has caused injuries to drivers. To date, the car manufacturer has cited at least 20 accidents related to the over-inflated airbags, with at least two resulting in the driver’s death.

The current recall represents an expansion of earlier airbag recalls in 2008, 2009, and 2010. However, while the original recall was thought to be related to a problem with excessive moisture developing in the airbag’s inflator propellant, the current recall is thought to be caused by a defective stamping machine. Whether this recall is the result of a design error or a product defect remains to be seen.

The current recall has been issued for the following Honda vehicles:

-2001 and 2002 Accord,
-2001 to 2003 Civic,
-2001 to 2003 Odyssey,
-2002 to 2003 CR-V, and
-2003 Pilot.

Honda estimates that the recall will affect almost 275,000 US vehicles and 27,000 Canadian vehicles.

Dual side airbags have been mandatory in all vehicles since 1998 and have saved many lives over the course of the years. However, because of the force which with airbags deploy, they are traditionally only used for adults. This is why car manufacturers warn that infants and young children should not sit in the front seat, i.e. for fear of injury from airbags in the case of an accident. However, in the case of the Honda airbag recalls, the driver-side airbags have been the problem.

The Honda recall comes in the wake of a year or two of high profile car recalls, including the Toyota floor mat recalls and the recent Volkswagen fuel leak recalls. Whether this means that car manufacturers are producing lower quality vehicles, or that regulatory systems are doing a better job of identifying potential defects remains to be seen.

And while the Honda airbag recalls have already led to at least two deaths, the hope is that the expanded recalls will decrease the likelihood of further airbag-related deaths. In its press release, Honda confirmed that it would be contacting potential car owners this month and recommends that vehicle owners visit their dealers as soon as possible to determine whether their airbags are faulty.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois automobile defect matters for more than 35 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and surrounding areas, including Waukegan, Oak Forest, Willowbrook, Streamwood, Ford Heights, and Merrionette Park.

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