Honda is expanding by 104,871 vehicles a December recall to repair potentially deadly Takata airbags in vehicles in the United States.
According to a USA Today news report, at least five deaths have been linked to malfunctioning Takata airbags in Honda products.
These additionally recalled vehicles include 89,000 Pilot SUVs from the 2008 model year and about 11,000 Civics from 2004 and 5,000 Accords from the 2001 model year.
Honda said that it is the first recall of 2008 Pilots for potential problems with driver’s airbags made by Takata.
The expansion of a 2014 recall for the defective airbags brings the number of Honda and Acura vehicles recalled for the issue to 5.5 million.
Honda is Takata’s biggest U.S. customer. So, the Japanese automaker has borne the brunt of the flaw in the airbags.
Nine other automakers have recalled more than 17 million vehicles in the U.S. due to this problem. Globally, about 22 million vehicles have been recalled.
The Problem with Takata Airbags
Takata airbags have malfunctioned in several Honda models.
The issue with these airbags is that they explode with too much force, which causes metal pieces to come loose, sending shrapnel toward vehicle occupants.
Honda’s latest recall involves driver-side airbags. Key parts will be replaced at no cost to consumers.
Federal regulators began fining Takata $14,000 a day on February 20 alleging that the auto parts maker failed to fully cooperate with the government’s probe.
As of last week, the fines have grown to about $400,000. The Justice Department has also launched a criminal investigation into Takata’s failure to recall the products in a timely manner.
The company has known about the airbag defects since at least 2004, but did nothing to fix the problem or initiate a recall.
If You Have Been Injured
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective Takata airbag, it is important that you understand your legal rights and options.
Injured victims can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
It is important that you preserve the vehicle in its current condition, unaltered, so that an expert can examine it thoroughly for evidence including defects, malfunctions and design flaws.