OLDER MODEL VEHICLE QUESTIONS
- My vehicle is one of those 2001 to 2003 vehicles. Is there a stop drive order on my vehicle?
We advise owners to only drive these vehicles—which contain so-called “Alpha inflators”—to the dealer for repair. If the customer is uncomfortable or unable to drive it to the dealer we can accommodate individual needs to transport a vehicle with an “Alpha inflator” to the dealer for repair.
- What is an “Alpha” inflator?
The “Alpha” driver-front airbag inflators were the subject of the first Takata airbag inflator recalls starting in 2008, and they were never replaced under those recalls. Now, because of the time that has passed, they are considered even more likely to rupture.These models originally contained “Alpha” inflators:
- The model year of my car is from before 2001, but includes a Takata airbag. Is there a problem with my airbag that requires replacement?If not, why not?
No, the Takata airbag inflator recalls begin with 2001 model year and later vehicles, when a newer generation of Takata airbag inflators was introduced.The inflator in the airbag in your vehicle uses a different propellant and is not affected by the recalls of the Takata inflators.That said, we encourage every owner to check their VIN for recalls, and to ensure that any open recall is repaired as soon as possible.
- Why is only the recall of certain older model vehicles with a Takata inflator called “urgent”?
Isn’t my safety urgent, too?All safety recalls are serious, and owners of recalled vehicles should arrange repairs as soon as possible. For some of the oldest vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls, the situation is even more serious.Honda was recently informed by NHTSA that analysis by Takata of certain front driver airbag inflators – so-called “Alpha” inflators – removed from recalled 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles in the state of Florida in the last few months and returned to Takata has revealed a very high rupture rate in laboratory testing.Based on this analysis, Honda concurs with the Secretary of Transportation’s recommendation that this particular sub-group of 313,000 “Alpha” vehicles should only be driven to a dealer in order to have their Takata airbag inflators replaced as rapidly as possible. There is an abundant supply of replacement inflators and the repair is free of charge and can be completed quickly.
|Accord||2001 – 2002|
|Civic||2001 – 2002|
|3.2 TL||2002 – 2003|
RECALL PROCESS QUESTIONS
- How can I find out if my vehicle is subject to a recall for the airbag inflator?
We urge customers to immediately check their VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) for open recalls at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com or at www.safercar.gov and contact an authorized dealer as soon as possible to schedule the free repair. Concerned customers also can contact Automobile Customer Service at 888-234-2138.
- Where do I find my VIN?
(Vehicle Identification Number)Your VIN is a 17-digit identification code unique to your vehicle and can be found in the top left corner of the dashboard through the windshield, on a sticker on the driver’s door jamb or on your vehicle’s registration paperwork.
- How much will this cost me?
The replacement of recalled Takata airbag inflators is free of charge.
- How long will it take for the dealer to complete the repair?
The repair should take about an hour.
- Do I need to make an appointment with a dealer?
We recommend that you schedule an appointment to ensure that parts are available and ready for your repair and to minimize any potential waiting time after you drop off your vehicle.
- I already had my passenger inflator replaced once. Why do I need to do it again?
Earlier this year, NHTSA, the federal agency which regulates motor vehicle safety and the airbag inflator supplier, Takata, determined that all Takata airbag inflators using ammonium nitrate as the propellant that do not contain a moisture-absorbing desiccant must be replaced. Older passenger inflators in Honda and Acura vehicles, especially those in hot and humid climates, are most at risk and need to be replaced as soon as possible.The replacement inflators Honda had been using for the driver’s front airbag contained a moisture-absorbing desiccant. Some of the replacement inflators used in the past to repair the passenger’s front airbag did not contain a desiccant.We apologize for the inconvenience that a second repair represents, but it is important to respond to the recall as soon as you receive a letter advising you that your car is now affected and replace your passenger front airbag inflator again, as soon as possible. The replacement inflators we are now using are made by an alternative supplier and do not use the propellant used by Takata.
- If I don’t want to drive my car, will Honda loan me a car until the repair can be made?
Per long standing company policy, Honda and Acura dealers are authorized to provide a loaner or rental vehicle to registered owners of vehicles affected by a Takata driver airbag inflator recall until their vehicles can be repaired.However, for those vehicles affected by only a passenger front airbag inflator recall, the Honda Automobile Customer Service (ACS) office will directly review all loaner vehicle requests from owners.Any concerned customer is encouraged to contact Honda Automobile Customer Service at (888) 234-2138 to discuss their concerns.
- Do I need to bring a recall notice to my dealer to have the airbag inflator repaired?
No. The dealer will be able to look up your vehicle by using the VIN from your vehicle.
- Can I have my neighborhood mechanic replace the airbag inflator?
No, only an authorized Honda or Acura dealer can perform the repair for this recall. Repair at an authorized dealer is free, and the dealer is experienced in making the appropriate repair and has access to approved replacement parts.
- Should I wait until I receive a recall repair notice or can I fix the issue immediately?
We encourage all owners to contact their local dealer immediately to schedule repairs. If the parts are not immediately available, the dealer can ensure that the parts are ordered and that you are contacted when the parts arrive at the dealer.While there replacement parts are available for most of the Honda and Acura vehicles affected by a Takata airbag inflator recall, there may be some temporary delays in receiving certain inflators.
MAY 2016 PASSENGER AIRBAG INFLATOR RECALL QUESTIONS
- Why aren’t all airbag inflators replaced at the same time – why are there five stages?
On May 4, 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that the agency was expanding and accelerating the recall of Takata airbag inflators, meaning that all Takata ammonium nitrate-based propellant driver and passenger frontal airbag inflators that do not contain a moisture-absorbing desiccant will be recalled.NHTSA set a five-stage schedule from May 2016 through December 2019, for the expanded recall that affects multiple automakers’ vehicles.According to NHTSA, the five recall stages “are based on a prioritization of risk, determined by the age of the inflators and exposure to high humidity and fluctuating high temperatures that accelerate the degradation of the chemical propellant.”
- If I am in a later stage does that mean I am at higher risk of a rupture?
Regarding the potential risk of inflator rupture during the period of these staged recalls, NHTSA has concluded that “the non-desiccated frontal Takata airbag inflators do not pose an unreasonable risk to safety until they reach a certain level of propellant degradation.”
- Why are parts available for older model vehicles but not for my car that is only a few years old?
Honda worked proactively to secure a supply of replacement inflators from suppliers other than Takata. As a result, for the far majority of Acura and Honda vehicles affected by a Takata airbag inflator recall, replacement parts from these alternative suppliers are readily available, and repairs can be quickly completed.For the recall of certain driver airbag inflators announced in February 2016 and a recall for the non-desiccated Takata passenger airbag inflator recall announced in May 2016, replacement parts were not initially available. Honda is now receiving limited supplies of replacement inflators for both of these recalls and repairs are occurring now.Due to the large number of vehicles involved, there may be some short-term delay for certain models as parts go on backorder for short periods.
- My car is affected only by the front passenger airbag recall, but there are no replacement parts at this time. My dealer told me not to let anyone ride in the front passenger seat. Is that safe?
For the vast majority of vehicles affected by these recalls, the passenger front airbag is designed to not trigger without a person in the seat. Maintaining the empty passenger seat in these vehicles will allow a customer to retain the use of their vehicle while the dealer awaits a replacement part and will significantly reduce the potential of a passenger airbag inflator deployment and rupture during a crash.
- Which of the models currently included in a passenger airbag inflator recall can automatically deactivate the passenger front airbag if no one is seated in the front passenger seat?
Vehicles currently included in Passenger front airbag inflator recalls that can automatically deactivate the front passenger airbag when no one is seated in that seat include (Note: Certain older recalled vehicles may not have this capability.):
|Accord||2004 – 2011|
|Civic||2006 – 2011|
|Accord Crosstour||2010 – 2011|
|CR-V||2005 – 2011|
|Element||2007 – 2011|
|Fit||2007 – 2011|
|Insight||2010 – 2011|
|Odyssey||2003 – 2004|
|Pilot||2005 – 2011|
|Ridgeline||2007 – 2011|
|MDX||2003 – 2006|
|RL||2005 – 2011|
|TSX||2009 – 2011|
|ZDX||2010 – 2011|
GENERAL AND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS
- What is an inflator?
I thought that these recalls were for the airbags?The inflator is a device inside the airbag that contains a propellant that inflates the airbag in the event of a collision.
- What is ammonium nitrate?
Ammonium nitrate is a chemical Takata used in its propellant formula to inflate the airbag during a collision.
- Why does heat and humidity affect my airbag?
A scientific analysis announced by NHTSA on May 4, 2016 determined that the ammonium nitrate propellant used in recalled Takata airbag inflators that did not contain a moisture absorbing desiccant can degrade over time, particularly when exposed to extended periods (years) of high heat and absolute humidity, as is typical in many southern U.S. states. This propellant degradation may cause the airbag inflator to rupture if the airbag deploys in a crash.
- I think the area where I live is hot and humid, too. Why isn’t my vehicle also included in the most urgent repair area?
Honda will conduct repairs on any vehicle currently subject to recall now on a national basis, regardless of the region.However, based on testing and analysis by Takata of its airbag inflators recovered from areas with consistently high absolute humidity and temperatures, the NHTSA determined that vehicles located in, or that had ever been registered in such climates have an elevated risk for airbag inflator rupture. For owners of older vehicles in these areas, the recall repair is even more urgent.These states and territories are: California, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and Saipan.
- Is there any way to know when my vehicle’s airbag inflator is close to a rupture before it occurs?
No. There is no way to accurately gauge the risk of rupture for any individual vehicle. If your airbag inflator is subject to a recall, it is important to pursue repair as soon as possible.
- Can’t I just disconnect the airbag?
No. We do not recommend disconnection, and it would violate federal regulations to disconnect the airbag without specific permission from NHTSA.
- How many Honda or Acura vehicles are affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls?
Approximately 10.7 million Honda and Acura automobiles have been or now are subject to recall for replacement of a Takata driver and/or passenger front airbag inflator in the United States, with approximately 2,700 Honda motorcycles subject to recall for the replacement of the Takata airbag inflator module.
- It seems like Honda is impacted by the Takata inflator recall problem more than other automakers. Why?
Honda was one of the first automakers to adopt a new dual stage airbag design in 2001 and the supplier of these airbags and inflators was Takata. The Takata PSDI driver front inflator contained ammonium nitrate propellant.A number of other automakers also have used Takata inflators using ammonium nitrate propellant in their vehicles which is why this recall is a major industry issue, but Honda was the first and therefore has more older model vehicles affected by the recalls.
- Is there anything I can do before the inflator is replaced to make it less likely to rupture?
No. All safety recalls are serious, and any owner of a vehicle affected by any recall should make arrangements to have it repaired as soon as possible.
- What exactly is being repaired—will they replace the entire airbag?
In most cases, the dealer will replace the inflator, a component inside your airbag unit.
- Is Honda still using Takata inflators to repair vehicles under this recall?
No. For recall repairs currently being conducted in the U.S. for Honda and Acura vehicles, 100% of the replacement inflators are now being supplied by alternative inflator manufacturers, not Takata. Put another way, no Takata replacement inflators are being used to repair Honda or Acura vehicles as part of the inflator recalls now.
- Do the inflators being supplied by your alternate suppliers use the same ammonium nitrate propellant as Takata?
No. The replacement inflators do not contain ammonium nitrate.
- Honda has had multiple expansions of Takata airbag recalls in past years. Why can’t the company get it right the first time?
Honda is committed to the safety of our customers.Each of the recall expansions we have announced came in reaction to new information that was unknown or not available at the time each original action was initiated.We apologize for the inconvenience, but it is important to respond to the recall notice as soon as possible.
- Do airbags or the inflators have limits to their operational life?
There is no set operational life of an airbag. While still subject to limited warranties, airbags, and all restraint system components, are intended to perform as designed for the useful life of the vehicle.
- What is Honda doing to inform customers about this recall?
Beyond the required step of a mailed notification to registered owners of the affected vehicle, Honda has supplemented this with a number of efforts to reach those customers affected by the Takata inflator recalls.You can learn more by reviewing the fact sheet we have posted at http://hondaairbaginfo.com/takata-airbag-inflator-recall-fact-sheet/.
Our efforts have included the following:
- 17.6 million mailed first class notifications to registered owners of affected vehicles (in both English and Spanish)
- 16.6 million post cards
- 17.7 million live and automated phone calls
- 5.8 million E-mails
- 311,000 text messages (including owners of Alpha VINs where we’ve been able to locate a cellular phone number)
- Newspaper and radio ads in English and Spanish
- Targeted social media advertising
- Private investigators seeking to locate individual, hard-to-reach owners