Honda is STILL Recalling Takata Airbags, NHTSA Issues Stop Drive Notice

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The Takata airbag fiasco appears to be a never-ending struggle with Honda recently having to issue a stop-drive notice on roughly 8,200 automobiles manufactured about 20 years ago. Due to the massive scale of the Takata airbag recalls, there are still more than a few units out there that have yet to be replaced. Though it seems like those in possession of these dangerous inflators had to have been living under a rock to have missed any mention of what turned out to be the largest recall campaign in automotive history.

For those that don’t remember the details, some 67 million defective airbags had been installed into vehicles sold by just about every automotive brand you’ve ever heard of. The problem stemmed from the ammonium-nitrate-based propellant used in the inflators, which had a tendency to corrode the unit in humid environments. As a result, the Takata airbags ran the risk of sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment – basically turning a safety measure into an improvised explosive device.

The units killed 24 people in the United States alone, injuring hundreds. But it was just the tip of the iceberg. The global figures are astronomically higher and the initial recall efforts (starting in 2015) resulted in completely different defective units being installed into automobiles. Those started being recalled in 2019. The compounding scandal bankrupted Takata and made every automaker associated with it (especially Honda) look exceedingly bad. As of last December, there are an estimated 11 million vehicles still equipped with the dangerous airbag inflators.

This has resulted in The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) giving rolling updates about an issue that should have been settled years ago. Last November, the agency noted that someone was killed after a crash in a 2006 Ford Ranger that was already under a stop-drive notice. Just days before that, it was warning drivers that 276,000 model-year 2005-2010 Dodge Magnums, Chargers, and Challengers, as well as MY 2005-2010 Chrysler 300s, were now under a similar notice.

That just makes the Honda announcement another drop in the bucket of some particularly stale and putrid water.

The NHTSA has said that select 2001-2003 Honda and Acura models are equipped with old “alpha inflators” that offer a 50-percent chance of exploding violently in a crash. That means, if you’re inside of one of these affected models, you really don’t want the airbag going off until it’s been replaced or removed. The cars were already under recall but are part of the 11 million that the agency believes have not yet been repaired. The notice is being released as the NHTSA is going through its records and trying to catch any units that have been missed.

Affected models include the 2001 and 2002 Honda Accord and Civic, the 2002 Honda CR-V and Odyssey, the 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL, the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL, and the 2003 Honda Pilot.

Owners are encouraged to check if their cars are covered by going to the NHTSA recalls page and inputting their vehicle identification number (VIN). Alternatively, customers can contact their local dealership and explain the situation. Repairs should be offered free of charge.

[Image: The Toidi/Shutterstock]

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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  • Marty S Marty S on Feb 07, 2023

    Crazy that there are 20 year old airbags out there. Have had airbag recalls on 2 of our cars (only one on each car), but how long do airbags remain safe? I always wondered why there was a recall on the passenger airbag on one of our cars, but not the drivers.

    Also had the airbag stolen from a 2003 Honda, and it was a nightmare to get it properly replaced by the insurance company.

  • Olddavid Olddavid on Feb 08, 2023

    Surely there needs to be an adult appointed to clean up the snakes in this mess? The "gift" that keeps on giving.

  • Buickman Corruption vs Ineptitude.
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  • Jkross22 The contrived, forced, overproduced jokes and antics were fun 15 years ago, but it's been the same thing over and over since. The last few years of Top Gear were heading this direction and the 3 were phoning it in. They should have either done something completely different and tried something new. Instead they played it safe.
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