Honda Expands Recall of Vehicles With Dangerous Airbags
A potentially deadly problem with the airbag trigger mechanism first identified in 2008 has prompted a second, expanded recall of hundreds of thousands of Honda and Acura cars and SUVs sold between 2001 and 2003. Announced by the automaker on December 1, 2011, the recall affects 2001 and 2002 Accord, 2001 to 2003 Civic, 2001 to 2003 Odyssey, 2002 and 2003 CR-V, 2003 Pilot, 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL and 2003 Acura 3.2 CL vehicles.
News reports on the new recall note that at least a dozen drivers have been injured when they had accidents and the airbags deployed with too much force. Two deaths have also been blamed on the airbag problem. In the best-reported fatality involving defective Honda airbags, an 18-year-old high school senior in Oklahoma City, OK, died after getting into a fender-bender in a parking lot. According to KOCO.com, the minor wreck triggered the airbag, which "exploded, sending metal fragments into her body."
Airbags, like seat belts, are ubiquitous in cars, SUVs and all other modern vehicles. They exist to protect drivers and passengers in collisions, no matter the speed or severity of the wreck. However, defective safety devices can be even more dangerous than having no protective equipment at all. To cite just one example of this, in 2006, a driver's side car set that failed at the moment of impact rocketed a California woman head-first into the rear of her car, breaking her neck and permanently disabling her. The woman did receive a settlement from the maker of the defective seat, but that money will not make up for her loss of the ability to walk.
As a Carolina personal injury attorney whose firm regularly helps people injured by dangerous and defective products, I am glad that Honda is acting to identify and replace the problem airbags. No driver or passenger should ever be in a car or SUV whose safety equipment cannot be trusted to work as designed.