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NHTSA Warns of Honda, Acura Vehicles With Extremely High-Risk Takata Airbag Inflators

img1029272784 1467307589125 jpg 2001 Honda Civic | Manufacturer image

CARS.COM — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced today that it has identified a subset of older cars from Honda and its Acura luxury division that have driver-side Takata airbag inflators that could rupture during an airbag deployment as often as half the time.

They include:

  • 2001-02 Honda Civic
  • 2001-02 Honda Accord
  • 2002-03 Acura TL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2003 Honda Pilot

Related: Is Your Car Part of the Takata Airbag Recall?

Honda recalled the cars above between 2008 and 2011, and more than 70 percent of them have replacement inflators, but NHTSA says some 313,000 remain unrepaired. If you own one, enter your vehicle identification number in the agency’s online search tool to see if your car has been fixed. If it hasn’t, visit your dealer immediately. (If you don’t know how to find your VIN, watch our short video here.)

The agency says eight of the 10 confirmed U.S. deaths from ruptured Takata airbag inflators are in this pool of cars. The risk was alarming enough for U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to advise that owners stop driving the cars “unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately.”

NHTSA says the inflators in these cars contain a manufacturing defect that exposes them to a particularly high risk of potentially deadly ruptures. Incidents are far likelier in cars that have spent significant time in areas with high absolute humidity such as the Gulf Coast, Florida and Southern California. Laboratory tests from cars exposed to these climates showed a rupture rate as high as 50 percent, the agency said today.

Regulators expanded Takata recalls in May by as many as 40 million new airbag inflators — over an existing pool of nearly 30 million inflators — potentially doubling what was already the largest safety recall in U.S. automotive history. Honda has the largest number of recalls, but more than 10 automakers are involved.

Honda implored affected owners to take their vehicle to the dealership as soon as possible and said it will continue to aggressively explore and implement new methods to reach owners of these vehicles. Honda said it has ample replacement parts inventory from alternative suppliers to immediately repair all of the recalled vehicles from the 2001-03 model years. The automaker also encouraged all affected owners to call automobile customer service at 888-234-2138 for more information.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

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