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NHTSA Investigates Timing of Honda Airbag Recalls

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on December 4, 2009

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has requested an explanation from Honda Motor Company and Takata Corporation as to why the automaker did not include Honda vehicles from a second recall in an earlier recall eight months previously. Takata Corp. is the manufacturer of airbags for Honda vehicles. The NHTSA “requires additional information from Honda and Takata to more fully evaluate the scope and timeliness” of a Honda recall for the same defective airbags that were the reason for the previous recall of Honda vehicles.

Honda has denied doing anything wrong and has said it will fully cooperate with the NHTSA investigation..

“The initial range of recalled vehicles was based on a relatively small sample of problematic airbag deployments,” Honda spokesperson Chris Martin said. “It took some further customer reports of airbag deployments for us to be able to look back and say, these vehicles are not in the lot we identified but have the same problem.”.

The vehicles affected by the recall are the 2001 Honda Civics, the 2001-2002 Honda Accords and the 2002-2003 Acura Tl models. The total recall now targets 440,000 vehicles. The first recall in November 2008 targeted 3,940 2001 Honda Civics and Accords. The second recall in June 2009 targeted 2001 Honda Civics and Accords. In July 2009, the recall expanded to include some 2002 Accords and Acuras..

The defect in the airbags is the inflator that can cause an airbag to rupture through excessive force while being deployed. The excessive internal air pressure can possibly send metal fragments through the airbag into the bodies of vehicle occupants. Honda has acknowledged that the airbag defect has resulted in many injuries and one death. Honda has flatly denied any responsibility for the defect and has blamed the supplier, TK Holdings, a division of Takata. Honda claims that a specific production process related to the airbag propellant is the cause of the airbag defect.

The NHTSA is investigating the recall’s timing as it occurred during the government’s popular Cash for Clunkers program where people could trade in older, less economical vehicles for new vehicles that got better fuel economy and receive a rebate. Honda said that all of its defective vehicles were included after the third defective airbag recall in July 2009, but they also said that during the June 2009 recall and the November 2008 recall as well.

If you or someone you care for sustained injuries by a defective airbag in one of the recalled Honda models, Orlando product liability attorney James O. Cunningham may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve to cover lost wages, medical expenses and other compensable losses under the law. Call Orlando product liability lawyer James O. Cunningham today to schedule a free consultation about your potential case.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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