Statement from American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Re: Confirmed Rupture of Defective Takata Airbag Inflator in Buckeye, AZ: March 29, 2019

On March 29, 2019, following a joint inspection, American Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed that a defective Takata driver’s airbag inflator ruptured in the crash of a 2002 Honda Civic on June 8, 2018, in Buckeye, AZ. The driver of the vehicle sustained injuries from the ruptured inflator and subsequently died in a hospital on June 11, 2018. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family of the driver.

Honda has now confirmed 14 deaths and more than 200 injuries in the U.S. related to Takata airbag driver’s front inflator ruptures in the field. In addition, another automaker has experienced two fatalities in the U.S. due to the rupture of Takata airbag inflators – meaning the industry as a whole has experienced 16 fatalities in the U.S.

Honda has shared all available information with NHTSA and will continue to cooperate with the agency throughout the investigation of this inflator rupture.

The vehicle involved in this crash had been under recall since December 2014 for replacement of the Takata driver’s frontal airbag inflator. Starting in January 2015, more than 12 mailed recall notices were sent over the course of three years to prior registered owners of this vehicle before the June 2018 crash. In addition, Honda made more than 20 phone calls in an attempt to reach owners of this vehicle. Our records indicate that the recall repair was never completed.

The driver killed in this crash, who was the current owner, purchased the vehicle less than three months prior to the incident. There is no requirement that sellers, new owners or any other parties inform Honda of a change of ownership, and Honda was not made aware of the ownership change at the time of the crash. Thus, Honda was not able to send any recall notices to the new owner before the tragic event.
Honda currently has sufficient supplies of replacement inflators to complete the free repairs for all recalled Honda and Acura models in the United States, and we urge all owners of affected vehicles to seek repair as soon as possible.

[Note to the Media: Please include the following as you report this story – Thank You!]
American Honda continues to urge owners of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls to get their vehicles repaired at authorized dealers as soon as possible. Older vehicles, especially 2001-2003 model year vehicles, have a heightened risk of an airbag inflator rupture and pose the greatest safety risk. Vehicle owners can check their vehicles’ recall status at www.recalls.honda.com for Honda owners or www.recalls.acura.com for Acura owners or by calling their authorized dealer.

# # #