The Takata airbag crisis and recall have been dragging on for more than a year, and on Thursday, U.S. auto safety regulators urged owners of seven Honda and Acura models with especially defective airbags to immediately have the cars fixed.
Describing the hazard in these vehicles as “grave,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the risk was greatest in hot and humid regions of the United States, such as Florida, Texas and the Gulf Coast.
Some 29 million Takata airbags have already been recalled worldwide due to the exploding-airbag defect, which has been linked to 13 deaths worldwide — including 10 in the U.S. — and scores of injuries.
The NHTSA announcement came ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend, often a time when Americans take road trips near the peak of the summer vacation season.
“The airbag inflators in this particular group of vehicles pose a grave danger to drivers and passengers that must be fixed right away,” NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind said. “Drivers should visit SaferCar.gov or contact their local dealer to check whether their vehicle is affected. If it is, they should have the vehicle repaired immediately for free at an authorized dealer.”
The most defective airbags were found in the following Honda-made models: 2001-2002 Honda Civic, 2001-2002 Honda Accord, 2002-2003 Acura TL, 2002 Honda CR-V, 2002 Honda Odyssey, 2003 Acura CL and 2003 Honda Pilot.
The NHTSA said eight of 10 confirmed fatalities in the U.S. due to Takata ruptures were from this group of vehicles.
Honda has repaired more than 70% of the vehicles in this group, but some 313,000 vehicles remain unrepaired, the agency said.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016