Honda is recalling more than 300,000 additional vehicles, including some 273,000 in the United States alone. The recall stems from a defective air-bag design used in Honda Civics, Accords, Odysseys, CR-Vs and other models. The vehicles affected were all built between 2001 and 2003. The defect involves an over-inflation of the air-bag. This over-inflation can cause plastic and metal bits to ricochet around the car, injuring or even killing the driver and other passengers. At least two deaths were reported in the U.S. based on the faulty product.
As with most air-bags, these use a chemical to inflate them very quickly in the event of a car crash. In this case, an improper chemical agent was used which causes the air bag to inflate with more pressure than it should. This recall is similar to the 2008 and 2009 recalls by Honda and brings the total number of vehicles with potentially dangerous air-bags to more than 2 million. If you drive a Honda, you should check with an authorized dealer to see if your car is on the recall list.
After the first two rounds of recalls, Honda noticed that the reports of accidents and injuries continued. They quickly realized that the problem was more widespread than they first believed. The Japanese-based car maker believes this last recall is the last that will be needed to protect consumers from these defective air-bags.
It takes a tremendous amount of force to rupture an air-bag. The drivers and passengers using these vehicles have been placed at risk by the use of substandard materials. Even worse, Honda is unable to determine what specific cars contain these dangerous air-bags. The fact that it took three rounds of recalls to protect their consumers is unacceptable. For the many people who have been injured, and for the families of the people who were killed, this recall is too little, too late.
Source: CBS Interactive Inc., “Honda announces global air-bag recall,” 2 December 2011