By on June 30, 2016

Honda-Accord-USA-2001

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration broke from its orderly recall of potentially dangerous Takata airbags today to warn drivers of certain 2001–2003 Honda and Acura models.

New tests show a certain subset of the faulty airbags, linked to 14 deaths worldwide, have a much higher risk of exploding in the event of an accident — a likelihood of up to 50 percent. The NHTSA is urging owners of these vehicles to avoid driving them.

Because of the age of the models, the agency issued an appeal to the public to help track down unrepaired vehicles.

The affected models are: 2001–2002 Honda Civic and Accord, 2002–2003 Acura TL, 2002 Honda CR-V, 2002 Honda Odyssey, 2003 Acura CL, and 2003 Honda Pilot.

The list comprises about 313,000 vehicles which came from the factory with a manufacturing defect in their airbag inflators. These models were recalled for the defect between 2008 and 2011, but only 70 percent of the vehicles actually returned to be fixed.

According to the NHTSA: “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. By comparison, testing performed on similarly aged recalled Takata inflators that do not have the same manufacturing defect shows rupture rates at less than one percent.”

Using uncharacteristically dire language, the NHTSA stated, “The risk posed by the airbag inflators in these vehicles is grave, and it is critical they be repaired now to avoid more deaths and serious injuries.”

The agency asks for the public and the media’s help in finding the remaining vehicles, and urges owners to visit SaferCar.gov to check whether their vehicle underwent the earlier recall.

Roughly 70 million Takata airbag inflators have so far been recalled, though these models are an urgent priority. Studies show that time, temperature and humidity degrades the ammonium nitrate propellant inside the inflators, which can cause the airbags to explode during a crash and send shrapnel into the vehicle’s occupants.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

66 Comments on “BREAKING: NHTSA Issues Emergency Notice for Certain Takata Airbag-Equipped Vehicles; Rupture Rate is 50 Percent...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    No airbag commentary really – aside from those are the exact rides you can find a ton of for sale on CL. All the time.

    What a tidy Accord design that was, and look how nice in green. Probably it should have some gold badges! That color is back as well – saw it on a brand new Pilot yesterday.

    • 0 avatar
      PRNDLOL

      The 1992 Pontiac Bonneville SSEI was *the* green car of the 90’s.

      http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd314/bigtymer386/TheBon/DSC01499.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Do not concur. The Grand Cherokee was the green car of the ’90s.

        http://www.roadsmile.com/images/jeep-grand-cherokee_green_4.jpg

        For about 10 years, they were in every damn parking lot in the US. the Bonneville SSEi was a blip in comparison!

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Nope. BMW 525. Forest Green. They were everywhere.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Rubbish. That’s far too expensive to represent the American populace. Plus, we cannot forget the ’90s were PRIME SUV time.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            A basic 5-series used to be $35-40K, same as the JGC.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            *I’m squinting*

            You’re -sure- the JGC was that kind of coin back in the day? And I’m not expecting to see “Base 5-Series was the same price as JGC 5.9 Limited.” because the majority were a Laredo or the other middle trim.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You’ve got me there, Corey. I was thinking of the green JGC with all the gold badges on it.

            Laredos were definitely cheaper than the Bimmer. And more common.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

            AutoTrader says the JGC started at $23K and topped off at $31K back in the day.

            http://www.autotrader.com/1995-jeep-Grand+Cherokee.jsp?modelId=10966

            OTOH, the 5er started at $36K and topped out at almost $50K.

            http://www.autotrader.com/1995-bmw-5+Series.jsp?modelId=10809

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            And relief washes over me in an awesome way.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I stand corrected. Well, sit. Slouching mostly.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

            $31K was pretty expensive for a vehicle back in the 90s. We couldn’t afford a JGC like my mother wanted and had a Mercury Villager in burnt orange instead. Those sold all day for under $20K.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I agree. That dang SLX was $35,000-38,000! The Trooper Limited saved you some cash, $37,990.

            We could also not afford a JGC, and my parents shopped well-equipped square body Blazers instead, and were disappointed.

            So we got a Grand Voyager. The Villager Nautica is still my favorite van.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “OTOH, the 5er started at $36K and topped out at almost $50K.”

            Yeah, but it was a BMW. Optional features like windshield wipers and a horn added another $8,000.

          • 0 avatar
            onyxtape

            Alas, my mother in law still managed to spend $40k OTD for her 1994 JGC. Her Indian name is “Never Says No To Salesmen”. That thing had every dealer add-on available on the planet, plus market mark-up. Funnily, there was still no prepaid maintenance or extended warranty at that price.

        • 0 avatar
          honda1

          grand cherokee garbage
          bonneville sse garbage
          that gen accord still running strong!!

          • 0 avatar
            alchargo

            Except…the transmissions in this era Accord where complete and utter garbage.

          • 0 avatar

            Around here on the street and on craigslist 90’s Grand Cherokees are just as if not more plentiful then accords. They are cockroaches the drive trains are unkilleable. I’m sure most of their luxury features and some basic features dont work anymore but I know multiple people who still daily drive 250 and 300k mile ZJ’s.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            My Dad had a 1999 EXL-V6 in this color.

            Ironically, the pictured car is a 2000 at the latest; the 2001 was the MMC, which brought a triple-slatted grille, revised tails, and it CD-cassette combo radio.

            Burned-out backlights for the LCD displays and glass transmissions (on the V6s) were still standard, however.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I never knew my ol’ MY01 Accord was such a deathtrap. Crappy transmission for sure.

  • avatar
    Piston Slap Yo Mama

    Our pair of Insights are within the year range, yet aren’t on the list. Our Mazda B2300 is one year before the affected models. It gives me no faith in the cars to be within a year of the recall. For example: my mother had a Lincoln Continental that was 1 year outside of the defective cruise control switch recall – you may remember the Continentals with dashboards that would randomly torch the car. Despite her car being a year outside the range, it burst into flames, thankfully at the local supermarket parking lot rather than in her garage. Yep – it was the switch.
    Lincoln told her to pound sand.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Bring back the sodium azide air bag inflators! Ammonium nitrate was a big mistake.

  • avatar
    shaker

    People should be assisted in disabling the airbags until replacement – I doubt if “just don’t drive it” is an option in many cases.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Yep. If I had one of these, I’d disconnect the battery, pull the airbags, and unplug them. Three-point belts are enough protection in most cases.

  • avatar
    I_S

    As an aside, I keep forgetting how good looking that generation of Accord was. Large greenhouse, sharp nose, right-sized wheels with real rubber on them. No excessive rake to the window. Just plain good.

    Too bad the auto tranny was a hapless puppy shredded by any V6 it was mated to.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I drove an off-lease ’99ish LX I-4 5-speed for a couple months, I loved that car.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      My transmission was replaced without complaint, and from what I heard from the person to whom I sold the car (2000 Accord V6; Dad’s identical 1999 model (that Emerald Green Pearl like that pictured, as opposed to my Taffeta White) was flawless) got a replacement transmission, gratis, which solved the problem!

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Someone help me with the math. There are 313,000 vehicles with the defect, which has a 50% rate of rupture. Which would lead me to expect around 166K cars with ruptured airbags, right? And yet, only 14 fatalities globally.

    Something doesn’t add up.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      The car has to get in an accident first before the airbag deploys and ruptures. Plus, the statistic is 14 DEATHS, not counting those who were injured by the defect but didn’t die.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      you presume all 313,000 of those have or are going to be in a collision.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        OK. Good points. Let’s assume just 1% get in a real accident, enough to set off the airbags, in the last 15 years.

        That would be 3,000 deployments, right? More if there are any passengers. But only 14 deaths, and those deaths are from ALL Takata equipped vehicles globally, not just this subset of 313,000 Accords.

        Let’s say that there are 5 deaths from these 3,000 serious accidents. Still an extraordinarily low number – 0.2%. And this was before ACE was a part of the Honda structure.

        The numbers still don’t work for me.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          The airbag propellant degradation worsens over time with more exposure to humidity. This is one of the few times where this type of dire warning is justified.

          To your question, though, were injuries and deaths caused by malfunctioning Takata airbags counted as malfunctions when they first began to occur? Who knows.

          I know that if I had one of these cars, I’d get the airbags removed before they murder me.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            I had a Haynes manual that detailed the SRS safing procedure on these: disconnect battery, wait 10 minutes for the capacitors to de-energize, pop panel on the left side of the steering wheel, pull connector. Easy-peasy.

            (I had always thought that the column had to come apart somehow, and the airbag itself disconnected from the clockspring, to be deactivated.)

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Again, as others noted, you have to be not just in an accident, but an accident severe enough to kill people. Additionally, you need to have an ME that is going to do some real exploration on COD, versus just going, “meh, blunt force trauma from accident, run a tox screen to confirm they weren’t drunk and call it good.”

          If you’re already hamburger after a crash it is tough to determine if the shrapnel that killed you was from the impact or a vehicle getting torn apart.

          With that said, I would speculate the death count is under reported, because of the complexity of figuring out COD in these accidents.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Maybe because not all 313k are in high humidity regions and if they are, they haven’t been crashed yet. A large portion could be off the road due to stuff like Katrina or junked due their awful automatic transaxles. I see second gen Odyssey’s on craigslist for $850 with bad trannys. Same with other V-6 products like Accord. Most are fairly used up otherwise, hardly worth dumping money into.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      While the math needs work, Vogo’s concerns are legitimate. A 50% likelihood of explosion in an accident is insane. If it really were that bad, these things would be popping all over the place (weather or not they kill someone).

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Cripes almighty just pull the airbag fuses in these high risk cars already.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I just recieved a notice from Ford . That my 2008 Mustang , that I traded in last fall, had been recalled for Air Bag replacement. No parts available, at this time.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Personally , I would rather take my chances with a VW diesel. Just my opinion.

  • avatar

    NHTSA could, but won’t, authorize an immediate disconnection of all the suspect airbags that have not been replaced. My wife has a recall notice to replace the driver’s side airbag in a 2004 BMW 325i, dated July 2015. No parts to do this have become available.

    We don’t care about the delay because all the bags in that car are physically disconnected anyway, but that is not the case for most vehicles with pending recall notices.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Fun fact. VW, Mitsubishi and Toyota are still installing, in brand new vehicles at the factory, defective Takata air bags. FCA has announced, as the 4th company doing this reprehensible practice, that they will stop. So apparently FCA was able to find a new manufacturer while Toyota, VW and Mitsubishi can’t.

    Toyota only recently agreed to notify customers at the point of sale of new vehicles, “oh and by the way, you have a Claymore mine in your dashboard, maybe, maybe not.”

    Drivers of impacted new 2016 model rentals from VW, Toyota, FCA, and Mitsubishi are not afforded the same disclosure. Meh – who cares.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      If it were Ford or GM, you could bet the outrage would be, well, outrageous. Gnashig of teeth, pitchforks and torches, the whole bit. RenCen and H.F. II buildings would be rubble after the volley of rockets launched by the typical internet Toyotaphiles (or VW fan bois if it could get conversation off “well, MY automaker cheated 400,000 people on purpose, but, yeah, my I-5 Jetta automatic in my moms name is beast yo”).

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        EXACTLY this. Look at the “outrage” from the B&B on the story on the Toyota recall yesterday – all of 5 replies. Substitute Toyota Prius with Chevy Volt or Tesla Model S, sit bad, and enjoy the click bait, errr, show.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          You could be right, though I didn’t think those minor issues warranted an article. I can’t even imagine any of my friends or family buying a modern Toyota, so no bias here.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Be careful, you don’t want to upset the Toyota Yakuza, we all know that Toyotas are built frok the highest quality materials ever…

  • avatar
    Sketch

    I don’t see many people pointing pitchforks at Ford over the Takata airbags they recalled…

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      You’re missing the point. There are 3 manufacturers who are building brand new cars today, and installing defective, up for recall airbags in them. They’ve only had what, close to 6 years to figure out finding a new supplier.

      VW, Mitsubishi and Toyota are doing this. No other manufacturer is (FCA is in the process of stopping – they were the 4th).

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    The advisory goes further, other outlets are reporting NHTSA is recommending, “do not drive,” any of the 313,000 vehicles impacted.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      How about a complimentary full face helmet and body armor kit until the replacements are available?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        hahahahahaha!

        I’m with others at this point who are saying give the owners an option to disconnect the airbags. If it is done they have to sign a waiver with the manufacturer and the vehicle needs some kind of non-removable sticker indicating the airbags are deactivated awaiting availability of new parts.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Shit. Stepson has a 2002 Accord. He’s out of town for the next 9 or 10 days… I’ll shoot him a text message and hope he replies.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Hondas always had airbag issues, before Takata it was issues with the SRS computer, issues that m8ght make them simply not activate.

    Of course it doesnt help that 80% of them are patched up wrecks.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Make that 81, as soon as my stepdaughter gets the salvage title on her 1996 Civic. She got sideswiped and they declared the car a total loss because it wouldn’t be economical to replace the door. :-/

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        What happened?

        A doors not too bad in my book, its when entire front ends are replaced, back ends, or even when two car halfs are pieced together to make one.

        Its cases like that where you wonder how safe a car really is.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    Does anybody know if the front passenger and/or the side airbags are affected with the exploding propellant?

    2002 Honda Accord. My driver’s airbag has already been replaced.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      My ’02 CRV apparently only need to have its passenger airbag replaced, so at least both front airbags can be affected.

      • 0 avatar
        Firestorm 500

        Well I called my local Honda dealer. They are of the “opinion” that the side air bags are not affected. They said the passenger airbag replacement goes by VIN. Honda will send me a notice if they want to replace it.

        I’m in Arkansas. I can assure you we are every bit as humid as Texas, Florida, and the Gulf Coast. Sometimes more. Year-round. Actually, Texas west of Dallas/Ft. Worth is pretty dry.

        Don’t crash.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • stuki: You weren’t at neither Ebay, Paypal nor SpaceX to watch him “build” any of them first hand,...
  • Art Vandelay: Maybe, but at least I’d get the LSD and rear end looks better on this. Plus I bet the 3 cylinder...
  • Fordson: Holding out for the “Don’t Tread On Me” edition.
  • theBrandler: All this push for electrification is overlooking the obvious middle ground that could capture some...
  • Mike-NB2: Back after Ford made the announcement that they were going to stop building/selling cars in North America I...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States