Automotive safety equipment is not supposed to hurt or kill you, yet that is what appears to be the risk with nearly half a million Honda and Acura models being driven in Baltimore and other cities in and around Maryland. According to reports, the defective component is part of the vehicles’ steering wheel airbag system and could cause serious injury or even death to the driver or passengers of these sedans.
Already one fatality and several other lesser injuries have been tied to the airbag defect. Honda announced back in November 2008 that it would be recalling some of its 2001 model year Accord and Civic sedans, but has recently added an additional 440,000 vehicles to the recall.
The potentially life-threatening defect is part of the airbag inflation system in these top-selling Japanese sedans. According to news reports, the inflator assembly can rupture as a result of excessive air pressure, which then can cause metal fragments to shoot through the airbag and possibly hit the occupants.
As a Maryland auto accident and personal injury lawyer, this type of vehicle problem can only make an automobile crash worse by possibly hurting the victims even further. Nobody expects that an automotive safety device will actually cause them harm, but in this case it could happen. As a result, Honda is now recalling the affected vehicles.
The safety recall covers certain 2001 and 2002 Accords, 2001 Civics and some 2002 and 2003 model Acura TL sedans. The driver’s side airbag is the defective component on the affected vehicles. Owners can check to see if their vehicle is affected by visiting Honda’s owner website and logging on. Honda has said that it is encouraging owners to wait until they receive a recall notice before going to a dealership, since it may take a while for the inflator units to be in stock.
Honda recalls 440,000 cars for airbag risk, MSNBC.com, July 31, 2009