Au­tomak­ers to re­call 5M ve­hi­cles for an­other air bag prob­lem

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

DETROIT: An­other prob­lem has de­vel­oped with au­to­mo­tive air bags, and this one will bring re­calls of up to 5 mil­lion ve­hi­cles world­wide. Con­ti­nen­tal Au­to­mo­tive Sys­tems says in doc­u­ments filed with the U.S. govern­ment that mois­ture can get in­side its air bag con­trol com­put­ers, caus­ing the power sup­plies to cor­rode and fail. If that hap­pens, air bags may not in­flate in a crash or they could de­ploy with­out a crash. The doc­u­ments, posted Thurs­day on the Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion web­site, said Con­ti­nen­tal will no­tify au­tomak­ers, who will re­call cars dat­ing as far back as 2006.

Al­ready Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Volk­swa­gen and Mercedes have is­sued re­calls, and some uniden­ti­fied Mazda and Volvo Truck ve­hi­cles are in­cluded. Con­ti­nen­tal says less than 2 mil­lion of the af­fected ve­hi­cles are in the U.S. Au­tomak­ers will re­place the com­put­ers at no cost to own­ers, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments. Honda re­ported two in­juries from the prob­lem. The an­nounce­ment comes in the middle of a cri­sis in­volv­ing Takata Corp. air bag in­fla­tors. About 24 mil­lion U.S. ve­hi­cles are be­ing re­called for that prob­lem, which is the largest au­to­mo­tive re­call in U.S. his­tory. Takata's in­fla­tors can ex­plode with too much force, blow­ing apart a metal can­is­ter and send­ing shrap­nel into the pas­sen­ger com­part­ment. At least 11 peo­ple have died world­wide from the prob­lem, and 139 have been in­jured. In the doc­u­ments, Con­ti­nen­tal says its prob­lem first sur­faced in Jan­uary 2008 when it an­a­lyzed a mal­func­tion­ing con­trol unit that was re­moved from a Mercedes. The com­pany con­tin­ued to in­ves­ti­gate, and in early 2011, Con­ti­nen­tal was told of two in­ad­ver­tent air bag de­ploy­ments in Mercedes and Fiat Chrysler ve­hi­cles.

Last year, Honda re­ported two mal­func­tions in crashes in­volv­ing 2008 Ac­cords, and U.S. safety reg­u­la­tors be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ments. Con­ti­nen­tal said it knows of more than 600 parts that were re­turned due to the prob­lem. On Wed­nes­day night, Honda said it would re­call 364,787 2008 to 2010 Ac­cord sedans world­wide be­cause of the is­sue. The com­pany says the air bags may not in­flate in a crash. Honda said it has two re­ports of peo­ple be­ing hurt be­cause the air bags didn't de­ploy. On Thurs­day, Fiat Chrysler an­nounced the re­call of 112,000 2009 Dodge Jour­neys and 2008 and 2009 Dodge Grand Car­a­van and Chrysler Town & Coun­try mini­vans for the same prob­lem. The Fiat Chrysler re­call also in­cludes the 2009 Volk­swa­gen Routan mini­van, which was made by FCA. Fiat Chrysler re­called ve­hi­cles that do not have Takata air bags.

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