US tells owners to park old Hondas until airbags are fixed

DETROIT (AP) — Honda and the US government are urging owners of about 8,200 older cars not to drive them until dangerous airbag inflators are replaced.

On Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a “don’t drive” advisory for vehicles with 2001-2003 Takata inflators, which are likely to burst and explode in a crash.

Safety agencies say the risk to drivers and passengers is dire as so-called “alpha” inflators have a 50% chance of exploding in a crash. can be fired and can result in death or serious injury.

The agency says Honda and Acura vehicles have been previously recalled, but records show that none of the affected vehicles have been repaired. Honda has already replaced his 99% of dangerous inflators.

Affected vehicles include 2001 and 2002 Honda Accord and Civic, 2002 Honda CR-V and Odyssey SUV, 2003 Honda Pilot, 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL, 2003 Acura 3.2 Includes CL.

Owners can check if their car is covered. Enter your 17-digit vehicle identification number.

“These inflators are now 20 years old and have a 50% chance of exploding in the slightest collision,” Acting NHTSA Administrator Ann Carlson said in a statement. “Don’t risk your life or the lives of your loved ones. Book your free repair today before it’s too late.”

Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the airbag in the event of a crash. However, this chemical can become more volatile over time when exposed to moisture in the air and repeated high temperatures. The explosion can rupture the metal canister and throw debris into the vehicle.

Since 2009, airbag explosions have killed at least 33 people worldwide, including 24 in the United States.

Most deaths and about 400 injuries occurred in the United States, but also in Australia and Malaysia.

Honda said it has reached out to owners more than 18 million times through mailed notifications, emails, phone calls and even home visits. The company says the repair is free and parts are available. We provide free tow trucks and courtesy cars if needed.

At least 67 million Takata inflators were recalled in the largest series of vehicle recalls in U.S. history due to potentially dangerous malfunctions. The US government says millions are not repaired. About 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide. Japan’s Takata Corporation went bankrupt after an airbag explosion.

Honda has by far the largest number of vehicles with Takata inflators.