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Greg Webb
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Honda Airbag Defects Cause Another Recall – Four Years Late

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Honda has instructed its dealers again to recall 273,000 Honda vehicles, and not to sell some used Hondas, due to "defective air-bag deployment systems." After a series of four major recalls since 2008, the auto manufacturer acknowledges 18 injuries and 2 deaths may be linked to an airbag defect. A December 29, 2011, article in The New York Times by Christopher Jensen, noted that in some of Honda’s models "the driver’s side air bag may deploy so forcefully that it sends metal shards into the driver." In 2009, an Oklahoma high school student was killed by injuries she received from a faulty airbag’s deployment.

Since 2008, due to faulty air bags, Honda has recalled almost 2 million vehicles in four separate recalls. This most recent, fifth recall includes (273,000) 2001-2 Accords, the 2001-3 Civic and Odyssey, 2002-3 CR-V, 2003 Pilot, 2002-3 Acura 3.2 TL and 2003 Acura 3.2 CL. In 2008, Honda recalled 3,900 Civics and Accords from the 2001 model year. In July 2009, Honda announced it was recalling 440,000 vehicles, including 2001 Accords and Civics, as well as some 2002 Accords and Acura 3.2 TLs due to the same problem of faulty airbags and unusual deployments. In 2010, Honda recalled 378,000 vehicles, including additional 2001-2 Accords and Civics and 2002 Odyssey and CR-V models, the 2002 Pilot, some 2002–3 Acura 3.2 TLs and some 2003 Acura 3.2 CLs. Last May 2011, Honda recalled 833,000 vehicles, 2001-2 Accords and Civics, the 2002 Odyssey, the 2002-3 CR-V, some 2002-3 Acura 3.2 TLs and the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL.

Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did not take action against Honda due to the defective air bag problem, it did inquire by letter why it took four years to recall the affected vehicles. Honda spokesperson Chris Martin indicated that the Company had to go back at least 12 years to examine all the data and that errors had been discovered in tracking of air-bag propellant lots, and "the full extent of those errors was not discovered until recently." Huh? Honda surely must think people are stupid, as automated and computerized as it, and the rest of the auto industry, is, taking four years to review this data is simply unacceptable, especially when people's safety is at issue. But, then again, their are certain members of the auto industry that are famous for this kind of "head in the sand" approach, or doing the "rope-a-dope" until the problem gets forgotten or "goes away". Or until the federal government gives up or looks the other way, depending upon how many former auto industry executives are populating the agencies who are supposed to be watchdogs.