Honda adds 1 mil. cars to pas­sen­ger air bag re­call

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS - BY TOM KR­ISHER

At the in­sis­tence of U. S. safety reg­u­la­tors, Honda is adding more than a mil­lion of its most pop­u­lar ve­hi­cles to a grow­ing re­call for air bags that can ex­plode with too much force.

The com­pany said Mon­day it’s ex­pand­ing a pre­vi­ous re­call of pas­sen­ger air bag in­fla­tors from high- hu­mid­ity states to the en­tire na­tion. That will add just over a mil­lion 2001 to 2005 Civics and 2003 to 2007 Ac­cords to the re­call. The two sedans are Honda’s No. 2 and No. 3 sellers so far this year in the U. S.

Two weeks ago Honda said it would re­call about 350,000 of the cars in high hu­mid­ity ar­eas. But the re­call was ex­panded af­ter the Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion de­manded that it be done na­tion­ally. A driver’s side re­call al­ready is be­ing done across the na­tion.

The am­mo­nium ni­trate pro­pel­lant in air bag in­fla­tors made by Takata Corp. can burn too quickly, blow­ing apart a me­tal can­is­ter and send­ing shrap­nel into driv­ers and pas­sen­gers. The prob­lem has been blamed for at least seven deaths and more than 100 in­juries world­wide.

In May, Takata bowed to gov­ern­ment pres­sure and de­clared many of its prod­ucts de­fec­tive, agree­ing to dou­ble the num­ber of air bag in­fla­tors be­ing re­called to 33.8 mil­lion, mak­ing it the largest auto re­call in U. S. history. Some cars are equipped with both driver and pas­sen­ger air bags made by Takata.

Last week Honda con­firmed that a Louisiana woman was the sev­enth per­son killed by a de­fec­tive Takata in­fla­tor. Ky­lan Lan­gli­nais, 22, of Lafayette, Louisiana, died at a hos­pi­tal on April 9, four days af­ter the 2005 Ac­cord she was driv­ing crashed into a util­ity pole in the city, ac­cord­ing to a law­suit filed by her fam­ily.

The gi­ant re­call cov­ers driver and pas­sen­ger air bags in cars and trucks made by 11 au­tomak­ers. Takata, the au­tomak­ers and NHTSA are still try­ing to de­ter­mine what ex­actly causes the in­fla­tors to mal­func­tion.

So far Honda has re­called about 21 mil­lion ve­hi­cles across the globe be­cause of the po­ten­tially de­fec­tive in­fla­tors. The com­pany is Takata’s big­gest cus­tomer.

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