60K Honda Vehicles Still Active With Dangerous Takata Air Bags

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Honda says more than 60K vehicles still active with 'time bomb' Takata air bags

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Honda says there are more than 60,000 people still driving their vehicles equipped with a specific air bag related to the massive Takata recall that has been called a "ticking time bomb" by industry experts. 

This detail came out in an exclusive from the Washington Post asking the question why 62,307 people in the U.S. are "still driving around with explosive devices in their cars." The Washington Post article came to this finding while highlighting the story in the death of Jewel Brangman, who was killed 10 years ago in a "relatively minor crash" when her fatal air bag exploded with metal shrapnel and severed her carotid artery. 

Brangman's 2001 Honda Civic was a rental car, and was equipped with an air bag that has a 50-50 chance of exploding with metal shrapnel in crashes, known as "Alphas." The WaPo reports says they are the most deadly of the air bags in the massive recalls, and that they are typically found in older Honda models. 

The Takata recall is already the largest in U.S. automotive history, and has resulted in more than 20 deaths around the world. Across the world, 19 different automakers have recalled around 100 million inflators around the world. In the U.S., the 69 million recalled inflators represents the largest automotive recall in the country's history. 

From at least in or around 2000, Takata knew certain ammonium nitrate-based inflators were not performing to required specifications. Takata also knew that certain inflators had sustained failures, including ruptures, during testing.

The company then submitted fraudulent reports that concealed the true condition of their inflators. Some airbag inflators have become explosive, sending metal pieces flying through the cabin when deployed. The ammonium nitrate that ignites the air bag inflators can be damaged by moisture over time, especially in humid environments, causing the danger of explosion.

"We're good at repairing vehicles," Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda in North America, told the newspaper," but finding and convincing customers of older vehicles to complete recalls, now that has proved a difficult challenge." 

There have been deaths related to the recall in the United States, Malaysia and Australia. People have been killed in California, Louisiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Texas and South Carolina stateside. A.P. compiled a list that shows the fatal crashes have occurred inside the Honda Civic, Accord, City, Civic, CR-V, and Acura TL and 2006 Ford Ranger models. 

In March of this year, the National Highway Traffic Administration reported that after reaching record-breaking recall heights in 2016, recalls dropped to its lowest levels in five years in 2017. 

In 2016, there were 53 million recalled cars compared to the 30.7 million recalled in 2017. The prior year's figures were aided by the mammoth Takata recall in the U.S. 

About a month later in April, Carfax estimated there were more than 57 million recalled vehicles being actively used on roads stateside. 

To search active recalls, use the NHTSA's website to search your 17-character VIN at this link. VIN numbers are typically located under the driver's side windshield, or along the inside of the doors behind the seat or under the steering wheel. To sign up for NHTSA safety alerts for a specific vehicle, sign up at this link. 

With a typical safety recall in the U.S., the manufacturer first notifies the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, then a notice is sent to vehicle owners informing them to take the vehicle to a local dealership who generally makes the fixes free of charge.

Source : http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2018/04/honda_says_more_than_60k_vehic.html

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