Honda is recalling 1.6 million Honda and Acura vehicles in the U.S. equipped with Takata airbags that are prone to explode with deadly force.
Honda urges motorists who own one of its vehicles covered by a Takata airbag recall to immediately stop driving it and take it to an authorized Honda or Acura dealership for a free repair of the airbag inflators. The automaker says it has enough replacement parts from alternative supplier to repair all of its recalled vehicles.
The recall comes six months ahead of a schedule that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) predetermined when it assumed management of the sweeping recall, which various sources say is the largest auto recall in U.S. history.
Japanese supplier Takata declared bankruptcy in June 2017 amid the growing recall, which affects some roughly 42 million vehicles equipped with 56 million airbag units. About 70 million Takata airbag units are being recalled worldwide.
The current Honda recall includes many model-year 2003-2015 Honda and Acura vehicles. All of these vehicles were previously recalled before February 2017 and repaired with replacement Takata inflators, then rescheduled for a second recall using inflators from other manufacturers.
Honda Airbag Recall List
Honda and Acura dealerships will provide owners of the recalled vehicles a free rental car for the day of the repair or longer if the part is temporarily unavailable.
Honda was Takata’s biggest customer and the automaker most affected by the airbag recalls. The airbags have killed at least 24 people and injured hundreds of others. All but two of the deadly Takata airbag ruptures occurred in Honda vehicles, including one Acura vehicle. The other two occurred in separate 2006 Ford Ranger pickup trucks.
The airbag defect stems from Takata’s use of ammonium nitrate as the chemical propellant in its airbag inflators. The highly unstable chemical degrades when exposed to heat and high humidity, making the airbag hypersensitive and prone to explode. Fatalities and injuries linked to the airbags are the result of shrapnel from the airbag unit striking vehicle occupants.
Honda says that 83 percent of its vehicles under a Takata airbag recall have been repaired.
According to the Associated Press, Takata airbags containing a moisture-absorbing chemical desiccant have not been included in the Takata airbag recalls. NHTSA will decide by the end of this year whether to recall those airbags.