Honda, Nissan, Mazda Issue Recall for Exploding Airbags
About the Takata Airbag Recall
According to the three automakers, the airbags can potentially explode, sending metal “shrapnel” at vehicle occupants. Reports have suggested the problem is with defective airbag inflators, manufactured by Takata, which can cause the airbags to rupture. Toyota issued a similar recall on June 11.
This is not the first time recalls have been issued for airbags made by Takata. In April and May of 2013, Japanese automakers and BMW recalled approximately 3.6 million vehicles for the same problem. Takata was also the manufacturer behind a 9 million vehicle recall in the 1990s for defective seat belts.
The NY Times points out that, despite Takata’s poor track record of quality assurance, automakers are all but forced to continue to use their airbags. Currently, only three major airbag makers exist worldwide: Takata, TRW automotive, and Autoliv.
The problems with the Takata airbags also comes as the auto industry is on high alert after General Motor’s recall of 2.6 million vehicles with defective ignition switches and 3.16 million vehicles with faulty ignition keys. The widely publicized fall out of the GM recalls has forced other automakers to be pro-active about safety issues in order to avoid a similar scandal.
Description of the Recalled Vehicles
Honda says it will recall about 2.03 million vehicles worldwide, including about 1.02 million vehicles in North America. Vehicles included in the Honda recall are the Fit, Element, and CR-V with model years 2000-2005.
Nissan says it will recall about 755,000 vehicles worldwide, including about 22,800 vehicles in North America. Vehicles included in the Nissan recall are the Cube, X-Trail, and certain Infiniti models with model years 2001-2003.
Mazda says it will recall about 160,000 vehicles worldwide, including about 15,000 vehicles in North America. Vehicles included in the Mazda recall are the Atenza and RX-8 with model years 2002-2004.
There are two deaths linked to the defective airbags. Both deaths occurred In Honda vehicles in 2009. One of the fatalities occurred in Oklahoma; the other fatality occurred in Virginia.