Honda Statement Re: NHTSA Recall Expansion Announcement – 5/4/2016

Statement from American Honda Motor Co., Inc. regarding NHTSA’s announcement of the recall of all non-desiccated Takata front airbag inflators

Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that “the agency is expanding and accelerating the recall of Takata air bag inflators. These expansions are planned to take place in phases between May 2016 and December 2019. The expansions mean that all Takata ammonium nitrate-based propellant driver and passenger frontal air bag inflators without a chemical drying agent, also known as a desiccant, will be recalled.

In response to this announcement, Honda issued the following statement:

Revisions to a November 2015 Consent Order between NHTSA and Takata now set a schedule for the recall of all Takata front driver and passenger airbag inflators that do not contain a moisture-absorbing desiccant. However, it is important to understand that for all Honda and Acura vehicles, all Takata driver front airbag inflators that do not contain desiccant are already under recall. Thus, for Honda and Acura, the amended Consent Order and schedule only affect non-desiccated passenger front airbag inflators.

NHTSA has set a five-stage schedule for the expanded recall that affects multiple automakers’ vehicles by the end of 2019. 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.” 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.

In today’s announcement, NHTSA indicated that Takata will issue the first of five Defect Information Reports (DIR) on May 16, 2016, in which it will declare a defect in non-desiccated front airbag inflators in certain model year vehicles and in certain regions.

When Honda receives this new DIR, it will immediately begin identifying Honda and Acura vehicles in the United States that should be included in the first-stage recall of the designated passenger inflators. Within a week following receipt of the DIR, Honda will provide NHTSA with a formal notification of its intention to conduct a recall. When NHTSA has formally acknowledged that notification, Honda will distribute a formal media statement with further details, including the number of vehicles involved and specific plans for notifying owners of vehicles affected by the first-stage recall within the required 60 days.

For more detailed information regarding NHTSA’s announcement, please visit their website: http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/nhtsa-expands-accelerates-takata-inflator-recall-05042016