The third-largest Japanese automaker is Takata’s largest client, and has been deeply involved in the recalls of cars equipped with airbags produced by the auto safety parts supplier since 2008.
It appears that Honda has finally reacted to the airbag debacle – it’s the largest contributor to the recent airbag recalls that have reached almost 8 million vehicles in the US alone (from all automakers), it has been involved in lawsuits that target Takata and all the deaths reported so far (four cases) involved its models. Also, the company is now under investigation by the US safety regulator after it acknowledged it failed to tally all the reports involving accidents linked to Takata airbags. Honda said it asked a third-party audit on its procedures and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered the company to provide documents and answers under oath about the historic ties with Takata and the airbag procedures.
Faced with the growing prospect of a wide safety investigation, Honda decided to jump the gun and added to its recall tally an undisclosed number of cars from model years 2001-2006. They are all sold or registered in regions with high humidity – believed to be a contributing factor to the rapid failure of airbag inflators produced by Takata. The defective part tends to explode with too much force and send metal and plastic debris flying inside the cabin at high velocity.