If you thought the Takata airbag inflator scandal and recalls were coming to an end, think again. Recent news reports indicate that a type of Takata inflator once thought to be safe and reliable has come under the microscope after a crash and explosion injured a Honda minivan driver.
The troubling incident compelled the Japanese automaker to recall about 1.2 million vehicles across North America and Central America. The affected vehicles are from the model years 2001 to 2016. The recall is to replace airbag inflators that had not been part of previous recalls.
As you undoubtedly know, Takata airbag inflators have caused at least 23 deaths and hundreds of injuries by sending shrapnel flying in passenger compartments. Takata used ammonium nitrate to create small, controlled explosions that inflate the airbags in collisions. However, the chemical can degrade over time when exposed to heat and humidity.
In the recent recall, the inflators had a moisture-absorbing chemical added to keep the ammonium nitrate stable. The inflators were used to replace older inflators that were the focus of previous recalls.
But a January 2018 crash involving a 2004 Honda Odyssey prompted another investigation, and eventually, the latest recall. In that crash, investigators found that the driver-side inflator ruptured and caused an arm injury to the driver.
Affected Honda vehicles will undergo their second airbag inflator recall. The recall includes Honda and Acura models such as the 2001 to 2005 Honda Civic; the 2001 to 2007 and 2009 Accord; the 2003 to 2008 Pilot; the 2006 to 2014 Ridgeline pickup; and the 2002 to 2007 and 2010 and 2011 CR-V, among others.
Honda said owners of affected vehicles will be notified by early next month.
If you purchased a defective new or used vehicle from a dealer, contact a lawyer devoted to consumer protection to discuss the legal options available to you.