Faulty airbag inflators produced by Takata are behind a recall issued by Mazda, Honda, and Nissan that affects 3 million vehicles worldwide. All three manufacturers will be replacing a faulty part to correct the problem.
In North America, 1.2 million vehicles are being included in the recall which had all three companies under investigation by the NHTSA. Chrysler and Toyota were also being investigated and do not have any vehicles in this recall, although Chrysler is replacing the inflators in its 2006 Dodge Charger. They say that it is a “field action conducted out of an abundance of caution” rather than a recall related to a defect.
As for the vehicles officially recalled in North America, Honda is recalling 1.02 million Civic, CR-V, Odyssey and Element models. All were built between April 2000 and October 2002. The number is far smaller for Mazda with 14,794 units of the RX-8 and Mazda6 being recalled, and Nissan with 228,000.
This isn’t a new problem for Takata, but one that has been an issue since 2013 when it forced Japanese automakers to recall 3.4 million vehicles worldwide. Add another 844,277 to that tally in an additional recall issued by Toyota earlier this month.
The problem with the defective inflators is a frightening one. A potentially defective propellant can cause them to explode when the airbag deploys. Not only does this cause the airbag itself to inflate incorrectly, but it can also cause shrapnel from the part to fly out and hit vehicle occupants. The exact cause of the issue is still being investigated, but one possibility being explored is the exposure of the propellant to moisture.
Honda has already reported two deaths and 41 ruptures in the US linked to the faulty parts. The NHTSA’s preliminary evaluation includes another six incidents as a result of the issue.
Check out our review of the 2014 Honda Civic…
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole is a member of the New England Motor Press Association and also writes for Automotive IT News, NerdApproved, and GeekMom. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.