Washington :Honda is recalling an additional 2.2 million Honda and Acura vehicles because the driver’s air bag inflators made by Takata can explode and hurl shrapnel into the passenger compartment.
The recall is a big chunk of the 5 million additional vehicles to be repaired for Takata inflator problems that US safety regulators announced last month.
Honda’s recall includes older model years dating to 2005, but also has some newer vehicles from as recently as the 2015 and 2016 model years.
The recall brings to about 24 million the number of vehicles recalled in the US due to Takata inflator problems that have caused at least 11 deaths and 139 injuries worldwide.
Takata uses ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that quickly inflates the air bag in a crash. But the chemical can degrade over time when exposed to heat and humidity and explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister designed to contain the explosion.
Honda said in a statement last night that no inflator ruptures of this type have been reported in any of its vehicles.
The company will notify owners by mail and replace the inflators for free with new ones made by manufacturers other than Takata. But parts won’t be available until this summer, the company said.
Honda said it has told dealers to provide loaner cars for free to any customer who asks for one while waiting for replacement parts.
Replacement inflators will be sent to high-humidity areas along the US Gulf Coast first, then to the rest of the country.
Affected models include some 2007 through 2011 Honda CR-Vs, 2005-2012 Acura RLs, 2007 to 2016 Acura RDXs including early production 2016 models, 2007 to 2014 Honda Ridgelines, 2009 to 2014 Honda Fits, 2009 to 2014 Acura TLs, 2010 to 2014 Honda FCX Claritys, 2010 to 2014 Honda Insights, 2010 to 2013 Acura ZDXs, 2011 to 2015 Honda CR-Zs and the 2013 to 2016 Acura ILX including early production 2016 vehicles.
The recall brings to 8.51 million the number of Honda and Acura vehicles recalled in the US for Takata inflator problems. Honda is Takata’s largest customer and has stopped buying its inflators for new models.
Also yesterday, Honda announced the recall of an additional 364,787 vehicles worldwide for a separate air bag issue.
The recall covers the 2008 through 2010 Accord sedan. The company says moisture can get into an electronic control unit and cause it to malfunction. If that happens, the air bags may not inflate in a crash.