Which Honda Vehicles Have Dangerous Takata Airbags?

A large number of Honda vehicles have been recalled because they contain dangerous airbag inflators made by Takata. The shrapnel-hurling inflators have been recalled in over 37 million vehicles (and counting).

Takata’s inflators use a chemical called ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbag during a crash. The ammonium nitrate can become unstable when exposed to temperature fluctuations or high humidity, causing the inflators to explode with an unexpected amount of force. How much force? Enough to rupture the metal cannister during a deployment and spray sharp fragments out into the cabin during a crash.

Accornding to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 15 drivers have been killed and 250 people injured by an exploding Takata inflator.

High Risk Vehicles

Certain 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles have been labeled as having a “high risk” of airbag inflator ruptures. In late June, 2016, NHTSA urged owners of these cars to stop driving immediately.

With as high as a 50 percent chance of a dangerous air bag inflator rupture in a crash, these vehicles are unsafe and need to be repaired immediately,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately, free of charge.

To their credit, Honda has gone through an unprecedented effort to notify owners on this list. In addition to going door-to-door looking for registered owners, Honda has made over 35 million phone calls and sent over 1 million text messages to any owner whose vehicle is still un-repaired.

According to NHTSA’s data, however, only 70% have received repairs. That leaves 313,000 vehicles that need critical repairs immediately. If you own one these cars:

  1. Visit SaferCar.gov to check whether their vehicle has any outstanding safety recalls.
  2. Call your nearest dealer and schedule a no-cost, immediate repair.
Illustrator location illustraion provided by Honda recall notice

Full List of Honda Vehicles with Recalled Takata Inflators

Given the scope of these recalls, NHTSA decided to spread out the recalls to get replacements to owners in the highest-risk regions or zones first. The last wave of inflator-related recalls is expected to begin in early 2020.

A zone is a group of states and territories where a vehicle was originally sold or registered at some point in time.

  • Zone A: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Zone B: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Zone C: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

More information about the “zones” is available on CarComplaints.com.

Take Action

Owners of these vehicles are urged to call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or visit this site for more information.

“Consumers that are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can contact their manufacturer’s website to search, by their vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm whether their individual vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed.”

Honda Owners Killed or Injured by a Takata Airbag Inflator

A list of alleged Takata airbag deaths and injuries going back to 2003 has started to surface following government investigations, recalls and a growing number of lawsuits. That includes the tragic stories of the following Honda owners:

  • Delia Robles, Corona, California — On September 30th, 2016, Robles hit a Chevy pickup head-on at an intersection, causing the airbag to explode when it deployed.
  • 13 Year Old Boy from Grove City, Pennsylvania — On July 22, 2015, a 13 year old apparently took the keys to the family’s Honda Accord, lost control and traveled off Route 58 in Mercer County. The 4:46 a.m. crash caused the front airbag to explode after the car hit a fallen tree.
  • Ashley Parham of Midwest City, OK — On May 27, 2009, just days after graduating high school, Ms. Parnham’s 2001 Honda Accord bumped another car at slow speeds in a parking lot. It was enough to trigger the airbags and the defective Takata inflator ruptured and sent metal shards throuh Ms. Parnham’s carotid artery. She was only 18 years old and dreamed of becoming a teacher.
  • Gurjit Rathore of Richmond, VA — On Christmas Eve 2009, 33-year old Gurjit Rathore was driving her 2001 Honda Accord when she hit a mail trunk. The airbag detonated and sent shrapnel through the cabin that tragically caused Ms. Rathore to bleed to death in front of her children.
  • Hein Tran of Orlando, FL — Mrs. Tran was killed by an exploding Takata airbag in her 2001 Honda Accord during a low speed accident. When law enforcement showed up, the wounds were so severe that they thought she had been stabbed in the neck.
  • Law Suk Leh of Borneo, Malaysia — Mrs. Leh was killed while driving her 2003 Honda City from a severe puncture wound to the neck. She was in the final week of her pregnancy.

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, you can help make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

This is the ultimate don't take any chances scenario. Whether you think your car is involved or not, there are a few things you can do to make sure. And trust me, you want to be sure.

“Consumers that are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can contact their manufacturer’s website to search, by their vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm whether their individual vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed.”

It starts with finding your vehicle indentification number (VIN). There are a few ways to do this – find the tag on the lower driver-side corner of the windshield (best read from the outside). Or grab your vehicle registration or insurance documents. It will be there, scouts honor.

Take your VIN and punch it into NHTSA's VIN lookup tool.

Recall Lookup Tool

My Vehicle Has Been Recalled But I'm Still Waiting

You're not alone. With up to 70 million affected cars (in the US alone) spread out over most major manufacturers there's a huge queue to wait for parts.

Other suppliers are stepping in to increase assembly capacity but there's still a wait for many owners. Make sure to call your local service dealership often to check, but please don't get mad at them if they say there's still a wait – they are just as frustrated as the rest of us.

I'm Concerned About Driving

There are a few options, none of them particularily good ones (sorry).

  • If the recall on your car involves only the front passenger-side airbag, don’t let anyone sit in that seat
  • Minimize your driving (I know this isn't a realistic option for most)
  • Call your local service dealer or automaker and ask about rental options