Honda Will Recall Improperly Installed Replacement Airbag Inflators, Again

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Honda Motor Co. is planning to install another round of replacement airbag inflators that have been improperly installed under an earlier recall. Unsurprisingly, these are Takata units and represent an expansion of an earlier recall from September that had also been incorrectly fixed. In both cases, the issue only affects passenger-side airbags.

The previous recall dealt with the 2008-2012 Accord, 2010-2012 Crosstour, 2006-2011 Civic, 2007-2011 CR-V, 2009-2012 Fit, 2010-2012 Insight, and 2009-2012 Pilot. The new fix will add another model to that list.

According to Automotive News, Honda has yet to specify the name of that model or how many units will need to be replaced. Although, Honda has stated it should be “a very small number.”

The manufacturer has already notified dealers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the expanded recall and is currently awaiting a formal response from NHTSA before issuing its own statement. No injuries, deaths, accidents or failed deployments have been reported.

However, the Takata inflators themselves have resulted in at least 18 deaths and over 180 injuries worldwide. The problem has forced 19 automakers to replace the units as part of the largest automotive recall in history. While the NHTSA hasn’t specified if other automakers have reported similar issues, Honda’s newest recall raises concerns that other replacement units may have been installed incorrectly.

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • MBella MBella on Nov 12, 2017

    Is it really installed incorrectly. The initial rounds of these Takata recalls were always described as a like for like swap, with the idea being, that it would reset the clock and buy time for the new inflaters to be developed. That's why humid climates had the campaigns performed first. As I understand it, all Takata customers are in the same boat, not just Honda.

  • Gasser Gasser on Nov 12, 2017

    This will become the business school model of how NOT to take responsibility for a huge blunder and how NOT to run a recall.

    • See 2 previous
    • WheelMcCoy WheelMcCoy on Nov 13, 2017

      @letstakeawalk Keep in mind not all rental cars are up to snuff. Some rentals are missing standard safety equipment like side airbags while other rentals were recalled but never taken in for service. I think TTAC published stories about this, along with Consumer Reports. You could be trading one risk for another. This makes the Takata airbag issue even more frustrating as customers are constantly reassessing their vulnerability. How old is the car? Do you live in a high risk zone (high humidity)? If possible, just don't let anyone sit in the front passenger seat.

  • Psychoboy Psychoboy on Nov 13, 2017

    The first round of re-replacement (inspections) stemmed from Honda's inability to keep track of serial numbers of the new inflators and the VINs they were supposed to be associated with. In short, inflators were ordered for one VIN, but possibly installed in a different VIN (depending on the dealer's work flow), and the serial number was correctly recorded on the warranty claim. Evidently, Honda used the order records instead of the warranty records to populate their current list, which led to issues. It took Honda several years to solve the problem and allow dealerships to update the system upon installation, which finally led to allowing the dealerships to just stock the parts (rather than order them individually, adding a couple days to the process) and post the s/n used to the VIN/RO being worked. It has been a total clusterfuck from stem to stern, and I can only assume that's because people who wholly unprepared for how huge of a thing it would become. Their process kinda made sense if it was going to be a few thousand inflators across a handful of models, but when it suddenly scaled up to basically everything built in the 00s, the process was quickly overwhelmed.