(Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co.’s latest recall of an additional 2.2 million vehicles to fix potentially lethal Takata Corp. air bags is the first time the Tokyo-based automaker has included newer models than 2011 as part of the largest recall in U.S. automotive history.
Honda will replace air-bag inflators in 13 models to comply with the expanded recall, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Thursday. The action comes after federal regulators spelled out the latest expansion of the largest recall in U.S. automotive history last month.
The affected models have a dual-stage, driver-side frontal air bag that may be susceptible to moisture intrusion over time, which may cause an inflator to rupture in a crash, the automaker said.
NHTSA announced the recall expansion on Jan. 22. The move came after a 10th fatality was tied to exploding Takata air bags. The deaths have been caused when inflators explode, sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment.
Inflators like those in the newly recalled Honda vehicles have failed in ballistic testing, although no real-world incidents or injuries have been reported with this design. Honda noted the potential for rupture “may be influenced by other factors, including manufacturing variability.”
Takata was faulted for having a company culture that failed to emphasize quality by a panel the Tokyo-based manufacturer appointed to review its manufacturing. The company needs to better monitor potential safety defects, track data from incident reports and give quality-control personnel the ability to halt production, according to the panel, headed by former U.S. Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner.
Based on investigations under way at Takata, NHTSA and a consortium of automakers all searching for the root cause of the defect, ruptures are most likely to occur after several years of exposure to persistent high humidity.
The affected Honda models are the:
- 2007-2011 CR-V
- 2011-15 CR-Z
- 2010-2014 Clarity
- 2010-14 Insight
- 2009-2013 Fit
- 2013-2014 Fit EV
- 2007-2014 Ridgeline
Acura models include the:
- 2013-2016 ILX
- 2013-2014 ILX Hybrid
- 2007-2016 RDX
- 2005-2012 RL
- 2009-2014 TL
- 2010-2013 ZDX
Other automakers included in the latest recall expansion are Ford Motor Co., Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Daimler AG, Mazda Motor Corp., Saab Automobile and BMW AG.
Last month, regulators couldn’t immediately say how many additional vehicles would be included because some vehicles have multiple inflators and some may have been previously recalled. Makes and models are being reported by each automaker individually. Owners can check on their vehicles at safercar.gov.
In November, Takata was fined a record $200 million over its missteps in handling the air-bag crisis. NHTSA found that Takata had been slow to report the defect and hid critical information from regulators and its automaker partners. Takata agreed to appoint an independent monitor to oversee its recalls and operate under the terms of a five-year consent decree.
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