Statement from Honda Re: Confirmed Rupture of Takata “Alpha” Airbag Inflator in Salvaged Replacement Airbag Module in Las Vegas, NV – April 19, 2017

  • Appropriate recall repair completed at authorized dealer in January 2015
  • Vehicle in April 2015 crash, repaired by unknown party using salvaged “Alpha” airbag module, and sold to current owner in April 2016
  • Crash on March 3, 2017 resulted in rupture of salvaged “Alpha” inflator and serious injury to the driver
  • Honda continues its significant effort to prevent the sale of recalled salvaged airbag parts with over 60,000 recovered so far

Through a vehicle inspection on April 13, 2017, Honda confirmed that a Takata “Alpha” driver’s airbag inflator ruptured in the crash of a 2002 Honda Accord on March 3, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, resulting in serious injury to the driver. Examination of the driver’s airbag revealed that it was not the airbag module originally installed in this vehicle, nor did it contain the replacement airbag inflator installed as part of a Takata recall repair that was performed on this vehicle in January 2015.

The vehicle involved in this crash was included in both a November 2008 recall and a December 2014 Safety Improvement Campaign (SIC) related to the driver’s airbag inflator. The original “Alpha” driver’s airbag inflator was replaced under a recall repair in February 2012, and that replacement inflator was subsequently replaced under the SIC with a desiccated Takata replacement inflator in January 2015. Both of these repairs were done by an authorized Honda dealership. However, the inflator that ruptured during the March 3 collision was not the replacement inflator installed during the January 2015 recall repair.

The publically available vehicle history indicates that this vehicle was involved in a crash in April 2015 and was subsequently declared a total loss by an insurance company. The vehicle was eventually sold to the current owner in April 2016 with a salvaged title. Though the most-recent origin of the ruptured airbag module is unconfirmed, it was originally installed in a 2001 Accord and contained a recalled Takata “Alpha” inflator. This module was most likely obtained from a salvage yard and installed in the vehicle after it was involved in the April 2015 crash.

Honda strongly encourages vehicle owners to confirm that any replacement airbag module used to repair their vehicle is purchased directly from an authorized Acura or Honda dealer. The company has made a significant effort to prevent the aftermarket sale of airbag modules containing recalled Takata airbag inflators, such as those removed from salvaged vehicles, and has so far purchased more than 60,000 salvaged modules directly from auto salvage yards and from online sellers in an ongoing effort to prevent this type of incident from occurring.

Honda has shared all of the available information collected to date with NHTSA and will continue to cooperate with the agency as any further details become available.

[Note to the Media: Please include the following as you report this story.]

Honda currently has sufficient supplies of replacement inflators to complete the required repairs for all vehicles subject to the open recall that included this vehicle, and we continue to encourage all Honda and Acura vehicle owners to immediately check for open recalls at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com and contact an authorized dealer as soon as possible to schedule the free repair. Any concerned customer can also contact Automobile Customer Service at 888-234-2138.

More information about the higher-risk “Alpha” inflators can be found here: http://hondaairbaginfo.com/statement-by-american-honda-regarding-psdi-inflators-in-2001-2003-vehicles-6302016/

The following resource will answer many foundational questions you may have on this issue, including Honda’s efforts to recover recalled inflators from salvage yards: http://hondaairbaginfo.com/takata-airbag-inflator-recall-fact-sheet/

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