Archive for airbags

Honda Announces New Passenger Front Airbag Design to Reduce Traffic Injuries and Fatalities in Wider Variety of Frontal Collisions

  • New airbag development led by U.S. engineers at Honda R&D center in Ohio
  • New design focuses on enhancing protection of front passengers in angled front crashes
  • Effort to advance airbag technology reflects Honda “Safety for Everyone” initiative

Honda today announced the development of an innovative new passenger front airbag technology designed to better protect occupants in a wide range of frontal collision scenarios, including angled crashes between vehicles or a vehicle and another object. Honda plans to begin applying its advanced airbag design to new products in the United States in 2020.

Development and testing of the new airbag was led by engineers at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. in Ohio in partnership with Autoliv, one of the company’s safety systems suppliers. The new design is based on Honda’s commitment to developing technologies that better protect vehicle occupants in a wide range of crash scenarios. In 2017, upwards of 37,000 people lost their lives on U.S. roadways as a result of motor vehicle traffic crashes, a slight decrease from the previous two years, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“This new airbag technology represents Honda’s continuing effort to advance safety performance in a wider variety of crash scenarios and reflects the innovative thinking that our engineers are bringing to the challenge of reducing traffic injuries and fatalities,” said Jim Keller, President of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “Guided by Honda’s ‘Safety for Everyone’ commitment, our engineers recognize that their work on this type of breakthrough safety technology will have  far-reaching effects on peoples’ lives for many years to come.”

New Airbag Design

Honda’s next-generation airbag is designed to reduce the potential for injuries that can occur in a wider variety of frontal impacts. It is particularly beneficial in angled frontal impacts in which lateral collision forces can cause an occupant’s head to rotate severely or slide off the airbag, increasing the chance of serious injury.

Unlike conventional airbag systems that rely on a single inflatable compartment, the new system utilizes four major components: three inflated compartments — a center chamber and two outward-projecting side chambers that create a wide base across the dash — along with a “sail panel” that stretches between the two side chambers at their outermost edge. Operating something like a baseball catcher’s mitt, the sail panel catches and decelerates the occupant’s head while also engaging the side chambers, pulling them inward to cradle and protect the head, mitigating the potential for injury.

This next-generation airbag technology is the result of Honda engineers’ study of real-world crash events along with research and testing conducted at the company’s advanced safety research center in Raymond, Ohio. Honda’s Ohio safety center is one the most sophisticated facilities for safety research, development and testing in the world and includes facilities dedicated to advanced crash simulations, pedestrian safety, collision testing and advanced restraint system development and tuning.

Honda Safety Leadership

Honda also is working to develop and deploy advanced passive safety and active safety systems that can reduce the severity of a collision or help avoid it entirely. In addition to passive safety systems such as airbags, seatbelts and advanced crash safety structures like the company’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, Honda is aggressively deploying its Honda Sensing® and AcuraWatch™ suites of safety and driver-assistive systems. Today, more than 2.5 million vehicles on U.S. roadways are utilizing these technologies, which are now standard or available on all 2019 and newer Honda models and standard on all 2019 and newer Acura sedans and SUVs.  The company has committed to making this broad suite of technologies standard on nearly all of its vehicles by 2022.

Combined, Acura and Honda have ten 2019 model-year vehicles – Acura: MDX, RDX1 and RLX; Honda: Accord1, HR-V,2 Insight, CR-V,2 Odyssey,2 Pilot and Ridgeline2 — that earned a TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Further, all 2019 model-year Acura and Honda vehicles that have been fully tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) have earned a top 5-star Overall Vehicle Score, 15 model nameplates in total.

Honda Safety for Everyone Commitment

As a manufacturer of a wide variety of products including automobiles and powersports vehicles, Honda’s “Safety for Everyone” commitment is not limited only to the needs of car drivers and motorcycle riders, but extends to passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of all vehicles — in short, to everyone sharing the road. On the basis of this “Safety for Everyone” concept, Honda is committed to developing innovative safety technologies and equipping them to its automobiles, motorcycles and other powersports products toward Honda’s vision for a collision-free mobile society where its customers, and everyone sharing the road, can safely and confidently enjoy the freedom of mobility.

About Honda Safety Leadership

Based on its “Safety for Everyone” approach, Honda has a long history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies designed to enhance the safety of all road users, including automobile occupants, motorcycle riders and pedestrians.

Toward Honda’s goal of a “zero-collision society,” the company is broadly applying active safety and driver-assistive systems such as Honda Sensing® and AcuraWatch™. These technologies can significantly reduce the likelihood or severity of a collision and also serve as a bridge to highly automated vehicles of the future. Honda is targeting 2020 for the deployment of vehicles with highly automated highway driving capability and 2025 for the technological achievement of SAE Level 4 automated vehicles for personal use.

About Honda R&D

Operating 14 facilities in the United States, Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA) was incorporated in 1984 after beginning operations in California in 1975. HRA is responsible for creating advanced products and technologies that provide new value to Honda and Acura customers. HRA conducts all phases of product development in the U.S., from market and technology research and styling through engineering design to prototype fabrication and testing, local parts procurement and support for mass production preparation.

With major facilities in California, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida, HRA is engaged in the development of Honda and Acura automobiles and Honda powersports and power equipment products. HRA is also playing a lead role in the development of leading-edge safety, driver assistive and environmental technologies. Learn more at http://www.hondaresearch.com/

The post Honda Announces New Passenger Front Airbag Design to Reduce Traffic Injuries and Fatalities in Wider Variety of Frontal Collisions appeared first on Blog Honda.

Honda Announces New Passenger Front Airbag Design to Reduce Traffic Injuries and Fatalities in Wider Variety of Frontal Collisions

  • New airbag development led by U.S. engineers at Honda R&D center in Ohio
  • New design focuses on enhancing protection of front passengers in angled front crashes
  • Effort to advance airbag technology reflects Honda “Safety for Everyone” initiative

Honda today announced the development of an innovative new passenger front airbag technology designed to better protect occupants in a wide range of frontal collision scenarios, including angled crashes between vehicles or a vehicle and another object. Honda plans to begin applying its advanced airbag design to new products in the United States in 2020.

Development and testing of the new airbag was led by engineers at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. in Ohio in partnership with Autoliv, one of the company’s safety systems suppliers. The new design is based on Honda’s commitment to developing technologies that better protect vehicle occupants in a wide range of crash scenarios. In 2017, upwards of 37,000 people lost their lives on U.S. roadways as a result of motor vehicle traffic crashes, a slight decrease from the previous two years, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“This new airbag technology represents Honda’s continuing effort to advance safety performance in a wider variety of crash scenarios and reflects the innovative thinking that our engineers are bringing to the challenge of reducing traffic injuries and fatalities,” said Jim Keller, President of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “Guided by Honda’s ‘Safety for Everyone’ commitment, our engineers recognize that their work on this type of breakthrough safety technology will have  far-reaching effects on peoples’ lives for many years to come.”

New Airbag Design

Honda’s next-generation airbag is designed to reduce the potential for injuries that can occur in a wider variety of frontal impacts. It is particularly beneficial in angled frontal impacts in which lateral collision forces can cause an occupant’s head to rotate severely or slide off the airbag, increasing the chance of serious injury.

Unlike conventional airbag systems that rely on a single inflatable compartment, the new system utilizes four major components: three inflated compartments — a center chamber and two outward-projecting side chambers that create a wide base across the dash — along with a “sail panel” that stretches between the two side chambers at their outermost edge. Operating something like a baseball catcher’s mitt, the sail panel catches and decelerates the occupant’s head while also engaging the side chambers, pulling them inward to cradle and protect the head, mitigating the potential for injury.

This next-generation airbag technology is the result of Honda engineers’ study of real-world crash events along with research and testing conducted at the company’s advanced safety research center in Raymond, Ohio. Honda’s Ohio safety center is one the most sophisticated facilities for safety research, development and testing in the world and includes facilities dedicated to advanced crash simulations, pedestrian safety, collision testing and advanced restraint system development and tuning.

Honda Safety Leadership

Honda also is working to develop and deploy advanced passive safety and active safety systems that can reduce the severity of a collision or help avoid it entirely. In addition to passive safety systems such as airbags, seatbelts and advanced crash safety structures like the company’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, Honda is aggressively deploying its Honda Sensing® and AcuraWatch™ suites of safety and driver-assistive systems. Today, more than 2.5 million vehicles on U.S. roadways are utilizing these technologies, which are now standard or available on all 2019 and newer Honda models and standard on all 2019 and newer Acura sedans and SUVs.  The company has committed to making this broad suite of technologies standard on nearly all of its vehicles by 2022.

Combined, Acura and Honda have ten 2019 model-year vehicles – Acura: MDX, RDX1 and RLX; Honda: Accord1, HR-V,2Insight, CR-V,2 Odyssey,2 Pilot and Ridgeline2 — that earned a TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Further, all 2019 model-year Acura and Honda vehicles that have been fully tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) have earned a top 5-star Overall Vehicle Score, 15 model nameplates in total.

Honda Safety for Everyone Commitment

As a manufacturer of a wide variety of products including automobiles and powersports vehicles, Honda’s “Safety for Everyone” commitment is not limited only to the needs of car drivers and motorcycle riders, but extends to passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of all vehicles — in short, to everyone sharing the road. On the basis of this “Safety for Everyone” concept, Honda is committed to developing innovative safety technologies and equipping them to its automobiles, motorcycles and other powersports products toward Honda’s vision for a collision-free mobile society where its customers, and everyone sharing the road, can safely and confidently enjoy the freedom of mobility.

About Honda Safety Leadership

Based on its “Safety for Everyone” approach, Honda has a long history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies designed to enhance the safety of all road users, including automobile occupants, motorcycle riders and pedestrians.

Toward Honda’s goal of a “zero-collision society,” the company is broadly applying active safety and driver-assistive systems such as Honda Sensing® and AcuraWatch™. These technologies can significantly reduce the likelihood or severity of a collision and also serve as a bridge to highly automated vehicles of the future. Honda is targeting 2020 for the deployment of vehicles with highly automated highway driving capability and 2025 for the technological achievement of SAE Level 4 automated vehicles for personal use.

About Honda R&D

Operating 14 facilities in the United States, Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA) was incorporated in 1984 after beginning operations in California in 1975. HRA is responsible for creating advanced products and technologies that provide new value to Honda and Acura customers. HRA conducts all phases of product development in the U.S., from market and technology research and styling through engineering design to prototype fabrication and testing, local parts procurement and support for mass production preparation.

With major facilities in California, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida, HRA is engaged in the development of Honda and Acura automobiles and Honda powersports and power equipment products. HRA is also playing a lead role in the development of leading-edge safety, driver assistive and environmental technologies. Learn more at http://www.hondaresearch.com/

The post Honda Announces New Passenger Front Airbag Design to Reduce Traffic Injuries and Fatalities in Wider Variety of Frontal Collisions appeared first on Blog Honda.

Honda Announces New Passenger Front Airbag Design to Reduce Traffic Injuries and Fatalities in Wider Variety of Frontal Collisions

  • New airbag development led by U.S. engineers at Honda R&D center in Ohio
  • New design focuses on enhancing protection of front passengers in angled front crashes
  • Effort to advance airbag technology reflects Honda “Safety for Everyone” initiative

Honda today announced the development of an innovative new passenger front airbag technology designed to better protect occupants in a wide range of frontal collision scenarios, including angled crashes between vehicles or a vehicle and another object. Honda plans to begin applying its advanced airbag design to new products in the United States in 2020.

Development and testing of the new airbag was led by engineers at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. in Ohio in partnership with Autoliv, one of the company’s safety systems suppliers. The new design is based on Honda’s commitment to developing technologies that better protect vehicle occupants in a wide range of crash scenarios. In 2017, upwards of 37,000 people lost their lives on U.S. roadways as a result of motor vehicle traffic crashes, a slight decrease from the previous two years, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“This new airbag technology represents Honda’s continuing effort to advance safety performance in a wider variety of crash scenarios and reflects the innovative thinking that our engineers are bringing to the challenge of reducing traffic injuries and fatalities,” said Jim Keller, President of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “Guided by Honda’s ‘Safety for Everyone’ commitment, our engineers recognize that their work on this type of breakthrough safety technology will have  far-reaching effects on peoples’ lives for many years to come.”

New Airbag Design

Honda’s next-generation airbag is designed to reduce the potential for injuries that can occur in a wider variety of frontal impacts. It is particularly beneficial in angled frontal impacts in which lateral collision forces can cause an occupant’s head to rotate severely or slide off the airbag, increasing the chance of serious injury.

Unlike conventional airbag systems that rely on a single inflatable compartment, the new system utilizes four major components: three inflated compartments — a center chamber and two outward-projecting side chambers that create a wide base across the dash — along with a “sail panel” that stretches between the two side chambers at their outermost edge. Operating something like a baseball catcher’s mitt, the sail panel catches and decelerates the occupant’s head while also engaging the side chambers, pulling them inward to cradle and protect the head, mitigating the potential for injury.

This next-generation airbag technology is the result of Honda engineers’ study of real-world crash events along with research and testing conducted at the company’s advanced safety research center in Raymond, Ohio. Honda’s Ohio safety center is one the most sophisticated facilities for safety research, development and testing in the world and includes facilities dedicated to advanced crash simulations, pedestrian safety, collision testing and advanced restraint system development and tuning.

Honda Safety Leadership

Honda also is working to develop and deploy advanced passive safety and active safety systems that can reduce the severity of a collision or help avoid it entirely. In addition to passive safety systems such as airbags, seatbelts and advanced crash safety structures like the company’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, Honda is aggressively deploying its Honda Sensing® and AcuraWatch™ suites of safety and driver-assistive systems. Today, more than 2.5 million vehicles on U.S. roadways are utilizing these technologies, which are now standard or available on all 2019 and newer Honda models and standard on all 2019 and newer Acura sedans and SUVs.  The company has committed to making this broad suite of technologies standard on nearly all of its vehicles by 2022.

Combined, Acura and Honda have ten 2019 model-year vehicles – Acura: MDX, RDX1 and RLX; Honda: Accord1, HR-V,2Insight, CR-V,2 Odyssey,2 Pilot and Ridgeline2 — that earned a TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Further, all 2019 model-year Acura and Honda vehicles that have been fully tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) have earned a top 5-star Overall Vehicle Score, 15 model nameplates in total.

Honda Safety for Everyone Commitment

As a manufacturer of a wide variety of products including automobiles and powersports vehicles, Honda’s “Safety for Everyone” commitment is not limited only to the needs of car drivers and motorcycle riders, but extends to passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of all vehicles — in short, to everyone sharing the road. On the basis of this “Safety for Everyone” concept, Honda is committed to developing innovative safety technologies and equipping them to its automobiles, motorcycles and other powersports products toward Honda’s vision for a collision-free mobile society where its customers, and everyone sharing the road, can safely and confidently enjoy the freedom of mobility.

About Honda Safety Leadership

Based on its “Safety for Everyone” approach, Honda has a long history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies designed to enhance the safety of all road users, including automobile occupants, motorcycle riders and pedestrians.

Toward Honda’s goal of a “zero-collision society,” the company is broadly applying active safety and driver-assistive systems such as Honda Sensing® and AcuraWatch™. These technologies can significantly reduce the likelihood or severity of a collision and also serve as a bridge to highly automated vehicles of the future. Honda is targeting 2020 for the deployment of vehicles with highly automated highway driving capability and 2025 for the technological achievement of SAE Level 4 automated vehicles for personal use.

About Honda R&D

Operating 14 facilities in the United States, Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA) was incorporated in 1984 after beginning operations in California in 1975. HRA is responsible for creating advanced products and technologies that provide new value to Honda and Acura customers. HRA conducts all phases of product development in the U.S., from market and technology research and styling through engineering design to prototype fabrication and testing, local parts procurement and support for mass production preparation.

With major facilities in California, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida, HRA is engaged in the development of Honda and Acura automobiles and Honda powersports and power equipment products. HRA is also playing a lead role in the development of leading-edge safety, driver assistive and environmental technologies. Learn more at http://www.hondaresearch.com/

The post Honda Announces New Passenger Front Airbag Design to Reduce Traffic Injuries and Fatalities in Wider Variety of Frontal Collisions appeared first on Blog Honda.

Statement by American Honda Regarding Side Airbag Inadvertent Deployment Recall: 2008-2009 Honda Accord Sedan

  • Side and/or side curtain airbags may inadvertently deploy if the ignition is on and a door is forcefully slammed or there is a significant impact to the vehicle underbody.
  • Issue arises from side impact deployment threshold specification; Not a hardware or supplier issue.
  • Free software update will adjust the deployment threshold.

2009 accord

Honda will voluntarily recall 303,904 model-year 2008-2009 Accord vehicles in the United States to update the side Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) software, free of charge. The SRS threshold setting for the side impact sensor is such that with the vehicle ignition on, if there is a strong, non-vehicular collision impact to the lower body of the vehicle or if a door is shut with extreme force, the SRS control unit may interpret the input as a crash and command the side seat airbag and/or side curtain airbag to deploy. Airbags that unexpectedly deploy may increase the risk of injury. Honda has received 19 injury claims related to this issue.

Honda is announcing this recall to encourage each owner of an affected vehicle to take it to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive notification of this recall from Honda. Mailed notification to customers will begin in mid-December 2015. Additionally, owners of these vehicles can now determine if their vehicles will require repair by going towww.recalls.honda.com or by calling (888) 234-2138.

Our Perspectives: Takata Inflator Recall Update

Honda is making steady progress in our continued effort to reach as many customers affected by Takata airbag inflator recalls as possible, and to rapidly repair their vehicles. Yet, with so many customers still needing to bring their vehicles in for repair, we continue to initiate new outreach activities.

In recent months, Honda and Acura dealers across the United States have replaced upwards of 24,000 Takata airbag inflators on a daily basis. In total, more than 3.5 million defective Takata inflators have now been replaced.

As of October 5, our national recall repair completion rate stands at 38.6%. Moreover, in high absolute humidity zones, areas believed to pose the greatest risk of inflator rupture, our recall repair completion rate is 41%.i

To put these numbers in context, we recently analyzed 14 different recall campaigns with a combined volume of more than eight million vehicles. And while we see completion rates of up to 80 percent for vehicles in the first year of ownership, we found that the percentage declines with each passing year, to around 33 percent in the 9th and 10th year of ownership. So, considering the scale of this recall and the age of the vehicles involved, we are making good progress.

But with millions of vehicles still in need of repair, we must do more. And with additional replacement inflator supplies from Daicel, Autoliv and TRW now readily available, we are well positioned to manage incoming demand.

By the end of July, at least one mailed notification, and in many cases several, had been sent to each and every registered owner of affected Honda and Acura vehicles in the United States. We’ve also made millions of direct and automated phone calls, in addition to a myriad of other outreach actions.

Despite the risks involved, experience has shown us that many customers, particularly owners of older model vehicles, do not always respond to these calls-to-action. So, to continuously reinforce the need to act, we are consistently looking for and using creative strategies to reach customers, including the following:

  • This week, we initiated a new round of print, digital and radio advertising in select, test markets. The goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts to rapidly raise mass awareness, locally.
  • We have found that social media is an effective way to raise awareness, as users comment and share posts with their friends and family members who drive affected vehicles. So, we are in the process of initiating a new wave of sponsored, customized Facebook posts targeting individual affected owners that mention the model owned by each identified user.
  • Honda Customer Relations continues to respond quickly to thousands of customer questions and concerns each day. In October, Honda’s Customer Service Twitter account (@HondaCustSvc) changed its banner image to raise attention to Takata airbag inflator recalls, and pinned a Tweet explaining how to quickly check a vehicle for open recalls online.

Across Honda, we’ve mobilized and provided nearly 30,000 U.S. associates with materials to help them raise awareness among their own friends and family. This campaign has resulted in a significant number of additional repairs to date.

With the understanding that word of mouth communication is effective, please join us in urging the public to continuously check their vehicles for open recalls, and if necessary, to take immediate action to complete the repair.

Bruce T. Smith
Senior Vice President
Parts, Service, Technical, Export & Auto Operations
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

An important note: Honda continues to urge owners of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls to get their vehicles repaired at an authorized dealership as soon as possible. The authorized dealership will make appropriate repairs at no charge to the customer. If there is a delay in repairing an affected vehicle, Honda and Acura dealers are authorized to provide a free loaner or rental vehicle until the recall repair can be completed. Honda and Acura owners can check their vehicles’ recall status atwww.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com or by calling (888) 234-2138.

Summary of Affected Honda & Acura Models (certain specific vehicles only):

  • 2001-2007 Honda Accord
  • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
  • 2002-2006 Honda CR-V
  • 2003-2011 Honda Element
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003-2008 Honda Pilot
  • 2006 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2005 Acura RL

Statement by American Honda Regarding Expansion of National Safety Improvement Campaign: Driver’s Front Airbag Inflator Supplied by Takata

  • 2008 Pilot and certain 2001 Accord and 2004 Civic vehicles added under new NHTSA campaign number 15V-153

2008_Pilot_101Honda will voluntarily expand its December 2014 national Safety Improvement Campaign (NHTSA No. 14V-351) affecting certain 2001 through 2011 Honda and Acura vehicles in the United States to include 88,549 Pilot vehicles from the 2008 model year, 10,868 specific 2004 Civic vehicles and 5,454 specific 2001 Accord vehicles. While certain 2001 Accord and 2004 Civic vehicles were previously included in 14V-351, no 2008 Pilot models were included before this addition. Honda has not received any claims of airbag inflator rupture in 2008 Pilot models. Since this expansion of the national Safety Improvement Campaign is taking place in a new year, it will be identified separately by the NHTSA as No. 15V-153, but the same repair, replacement of the driver front airbag inflator, free of charge, will apply to these additional vehicles nationwide. With this expansion, a total of approximately 5.5 million vehicles will be covered by 14V-351 and 15V-153 combined.

Honda is committed to identifying and repairing every Honda and Acura vehicle affected by this issue. The company identified the 2008 Pilot and additional 2001 Accord and 2004 Civic vehicles as being affected by the national Safety Improvement Campaign through a process of confirming, on a vehicle by vehicle basis, which 2001 model year and later Honda and Acura vehicles were originally equipped with affected Takata airbag inflators. Honda recently identified these additional vehicles and quickly notified the NHTSA of its intention to add them to the Safety Improvement Campaign.

Background:
As part of an ongoing industry investigation, Honda has been working in cooperation with Takata, the supplier of the airbag inflators, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remove and test front airbag inflators installed in certain Honda and Acura vehicles initially in 11 U.S. states and territories (Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) and subsequently on a nationwide basis. Honda has been participating in this investigation because of an apparent correlation between the long term exposure to high absolute humidity, which is common in most of those states and territories, and the possibility that a front airbag inflator produced by Takata could produce excessive internal pressure upon deployment and then rupture (break apart). If a front airbag inflator ruptures, metal fragments could pass through the airbag cushion material and hit vehicle occupants. Past ruptures have killed or injured vehicle occupants.

Neither Honda nor Takata has made a determination that a safety defect exists in the driver front airbag inflators that are installed in vehicles included in 14V-351 or 15V-153. Honda hopes these actions will both address customer concerns and further assist in the ongoing industry investigation of abnormal airbag deployments in the vehicles from all affected manufacturers.

Honda is announcing this action today to encourage owners to take their vehicles to an authorized Honda or Acura dealer for repair. Mailed notification to customers in the original regional Safety Improvement Campaign (14V-351) began in September 2014, and additional mailed notification letters including vehicles now included in this new action will be sent to registered owners over time, prioritized by geographic area in the order of highest perceived risk. The most-updated available consumer information about this action is obtainable at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com or by calling (800) 999-1009 for Honda owners or (800) 382-2238 for Acura owners, and selecting option 4.

Summary of Affected Models in 14V-351 and 15V-153* (Certain specific vehicles only):

  • 2001-2007 Honda Accord with 4-cylinder engines
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord  with V6 engines
  • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
  • 2002-2006 Honda CR-V
  • 2003-2011 Honda Element
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003-2008 Honda Pilot*
  • 2006 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2003 Acura CL

Our Perspectives: Increasing the Supply of Replacement Airbag Inflators

Recall picHonda is fully mobilized on the recalls and safety improvement campaigns associated with Takata airbag inflators as we focus on taking care of our customers and preventing any further injuries. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this issue may cause, and want them to know we are doing everything possible to accelerate the replacement of airbag inflators to assure that their vehicle can be repaired as soon as possible.

Our priorities today are centered on: 1) reaching owners affected by these recalls and encouraging them to contact an authorized dealer 2) increasing the supply of replacement airbag inflators and accelerating the pace of repairs and 3) working with our dealers to take good care of our customers throughout the entire process of scheduling and completing each repair. While focusing squarely on our immediate priorities, we are also engaging members of Congress and industry partners to support a new proposal that will help achieve 100 percent completion of every automotive recall campaign in America.

To reach as many owners affected by this issue as possible, we have implemented a number of measures that stretch beyond the one required mailed notification. For example, we are making automated and direct phone calls, enlisting the services of special investigative firms to contact hard-to-reach owners and preparing to reach others directly through social media. We are also working with CARFAX, utilizing their vehicle history data to improve our recall efforts, as well as adding open recall alerts to the history reports of affected vehicles. In addition, we’ve begun searching salvage yards to find and secure recalled inflators, so that they will never be installed in another vehicle.

To increase the number of replacement inflators available, we have successfully engaged additional suppliers to accelerate production of the needed parts. Together, increased supply from Takata, along with additional supplies from Daicel and Autoliv, will help Honda accelerate the pace of repairs.

We continue to make progress, particularly in the prioritized nine states and two U.S. territories that experience persistent heat and high absolute humidity. This geographic targeting expands on the four states and territories that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Takata initially determined to represent the greatest risk to affected owners.

When the replacement part is in stock, an airbag inflator repair can be made in a matter of hours. Depending on the vehicle model and availability of parts, it may also take from several days to several weeks to repair an affected vehicle, as demand for certain inflators exceeds supply currently coming from Takata, even as we continually receive additional parts. We expect the additional parts from new inflator suppliers, along with increased inflator production by Takata, will help alleviate this situation in the near future. In the meantime, to take care of customers impacted by repair delays, we will continue to provide complimentary loaner vehicles or rental cars at no charge.

Moving forward, we continue to urge owners of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls to get their vehicles repaired at an authorized dealer as soon as possible. Vehicle owners can check their vehicles’ recall status at www.recalls.honda.com for Honda owners or www.recalls.acura.com for Acura owners, or by calling their authorized dealer.

Bruce Smith is senior vice president of the Parts, Service and Technical Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Fact Sheet: Honda’s Early Warning Report Audit & NHTSA Special Order

Recall picMuch has been written about recent Honda recalls, especially the recall involving airbags made by Takata. Not all reports have been entirely accurate, so we are making available the “highlights” of what a third party audit found of Honda’s handling of the situation. Certainly, much of this information is not flattering, but we feel it is important to our customers to be completely transparent so they can believe we are doing our best to make sure this does not happen again.

Origin of Honda’s Third Party Audit

In September 2014, Honda commissioned a third-party audit of its TREAD Act reporting (also known as Early Warning Reports, or EWRs) to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after certain discrepancies in reporting had been identified.

NHTSA Special Order

Once Honda received preliminary findings from the third-party audit, it requested a meeting with NHTSA, and on October 17, 2014 briefed NHTSA on the matter. On November 3, 2014, NHTSA issued a Special Order to Honda requesting information related to Honda’s EWRs, and Honda submitted responsive information to NHTSA on November 24, 2014.

TREAD Act Requirements

The heart of the TREAD Act is an Early Warning Reporting obligation, which requires vehicle manufacturers on a quarterly basis to report a wide variety of information that could indicate a potential safety defect. This information includes a report on any death or injury incident that is known to Honda from a written claim or a written notice containing any allegations that injury or death may have been caused by or related to a possible defect. These claims are received by manufacturers from customers, their representatives or other sources. Death and Injury EWRs to NHTSA are required to include certain specified information about the incidents. Oral claims and notices of death or injury do not carry the same reporting requirements.

The TREAD Act also requires manufacturers to provide aggregate information about warranty claims it has paid, property damage claims (regardless of whether paid or denied), customer complaints (oral and written) and field reports. Certain field reports are required to be provided in hard copy, as well.

For complete details on the TREAD Act, please visit the NHTSA website.

Key Findings of Honda’s Third-Party Audit

Honda’s third-party audit has identified that it did not report to NHTSA a total of 1729 written claims or notices concerning injuries or deaths over the period of July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2014. Our review to date indicates that these were inadvertent data entry and computer programming errors. Additionally, the audit found a delay between the time that Honda first became aware of possible discrepancies in its TREAD reporting and the full investigation and reporting of the issue. More detailed background regarding these issues follows:

  1. Data Entry Errors: In entering injury and death claims into the company’s database Honda often did not enter a date in the “written claim received” field. The computer program used to generate Honda’s Early Warning Reports requires completion of that field in order to distinguish reportable written claims and notices from non-reportable oral claims for relief. Therefore, those written claims and notices that were input without a “written claim received” date were automatically omitted from Honda’s Early Warning Reports.
  2. Coding Error: Early Warning Reports are required to identify the particular component involved in the injury or death claims being reported using a series of NHTSA component codes. Historically, Honda maintained a more exhaustive series of its own component/defect sub-codes to track incoming claims. However, the EWR computer program was not set up properly at the outset, and did not properly map all of Honda’s internal sub-codes to a NHTSA code. Therefore, when generating its Early Warning Reports, Honda’s computer program included only those written injury and death claims or notices that mapped to a NHTSA component code – thus underreporting claims.
  3. Narrow Regulatory Interpretation: Honda used an overly narrow interpretation of what constituted a “written notice” under the TREAD Act. Using this narrow interpretation, Honda did not consider third-party documentation that the company obtained through its associates or consultants as reportable. For example, police reports obtained by Honda or information from private investigators hired by the company, were not considered a “notice received by the manufacturer” – and thus did not trigger an EWR report.

Other key issues reported in Honda’s response to the Special Order from NHTSA:

The TREAD Act requires manufacturers to report, by number, the warranty and property damage claims received from customers or their representatives. In reviewing its reporting of these areas, Honda determined that regular warranty claims were properly reported to the NHTSA. However, certain special warranty claims, including “good will” warranty, and extended warranties for certified pre-owned vehicles and under 3rd party service contracts were not properly reported.

Further, instead of reporting all property damage claims, as required, Honda was reporting only property damage claims that it had denied, while those claims that it accepted and paid to customers were improperly included in the count of warranty claims. The net result is that Honda over-reported these as warranty claims and under-reported property damage claims.

This mis-reporting is a result of inaccurate regulatory interpretation and programming errors at the time that Honda’s TREAD reporting was established.

Corrective Actions

In order to ensure such errors do not happen again, Honda has begun to take a number of steps that address the issues raised in the third-party audit and in Honda’s review in compliance with the NHTSA Special Order. These include:

  • Honda has already corrected the computer programming issue and mapped the complete universe of Honda’s codes to corresponding NHTSA component codes.
  • Honda will voluntarily include both written and oral claims of injuries or death in all future Early Warning Reports.
  • Honda will implement full training regarding the data entry process, including refresher training with detailed written guidelines.
  • Honda is in the process of enhancing its oversight of the Early Warning reporting process.
  • Honda will make organizational and staffing level changes in the functional areas responsible for its Early Warning reporting.
  • Honda will reprogram warranty and property claims to the EWR reporting system so that all warranty claims are included, and property damage reports will be included whether they are paid or denied.

A Note on the Issue of Takata Airbag Inflator Ruptures

The third-party audit of Honda’s TREAD Act reporting represents an analysis of written claims reported by Honda to NHTSA since the TREAD Act took effect on July 1, 2003, compared to the total universe of written claims the company received over that time period.

While the audit captured claims related to Takata airbags, it represents a separate and distinct matter from NHTSA’s current Takata airbag inflator rupture investigation. Even though eight Takata airbag inflator ruptures were not included in Honda’s TREAD report, NHTSA was aware of all these ruptures either through notification by Honda or through NHTSA’s own records.

Of the 1729 written claims and notices Honda did not report to NHTSA via EWRs, eight involved Takata airbag inflator ruptures (0.5 %). Importantly, all eight Takata-related written claims, including the one fatality and seven other injury claims, were disclosed to NHTSA in detail by other means. Six of these claims, including one fatality, were reported to the NHTSA with complete information in September 2009. Regarding the other two injury claims, a 2009 incident was reported in 2011, while another claim in 2013 was reported to Honda by NHTSA and was not placed in Honda’s subsequent quarterly TREAD report in error.

Regarding the one fatality from the rupture of a Takata airbag inflator that Honda did not include as an EWR, Honda was notified of this May 27, 2009 incident in writing on July 2, 2009. According to the TREAD Act, Honda should have reported this death as an EWR by the end of November. As previously acknowledged, while the company did not issue this EWR, Honda provided NHTSA with all relevant information about the incident on September 19, 2009, more than two months before the report was due.

Timeline of TREAD ACT Reporting Errors:

A Honda associate first recognized an issue related to the recording of a verbal date code in the legal file management system in 2011 and believed that it could have affected the accuracy of the EWR reports; however, apparently, there was no follow-up. The NHTSA made Honda aware of its under-reporting EWRs in early January 2012. Honda began looking into the issue at that time, but did not take conclusive action. Honda began a third-party audit to determine the full extent of its under-reporting in September 2014, and first notified NHTSA of the discrepancies in Honda’s Early Warning Reporting in October 2014. Honda acknowledges that it lacked the urgency needed to correct its problems on a timely basis.

Honda Recalls Odysseys, Acura MDX

Honda is voluntarily recalling about 318,000 Odyssey minivans and 56,000 Acura MDX sport utility vehicles due to possible defect with the airbags that may cause them to deploy without being in a collision.

The recall affects Honda Odysseys from 2003-4 model years and Acura MDX SUVs from the 2003 model year.

According to this article, “The recall comes after an investigation started in June by N.H.T.S.A. Honda told the safety agency that a chip within the air bag control unit may have “low noise toughness against electrical noise surges.” Because of that, the air bags may be triggered without a crash. Honda says dealers will install an electrical noise filter next to the component that controls air bag deployment.”

No injuries or collisions have been reported.

If you have any questions or concerns about your Odyssey or Acura MDX, please do not hesitate to call Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda dealership. Any repairs that would be required would be free of charge to owners.

Massive Airbag Recall Affects Honda, Toyota, Nissan Vehicles

More than 3.4 million cars are being recalled, including 1.1 Hondas and 1.7 million Toyotas, because airbags on the passenger front airbag needs to be replaced. All of the faulty airbags were manufactured by the same Japanese supplier, Takata Corp.

According to a statement from Honda, “”It is possible that the passenger front airbag inflators in affected vehicles may deploy with too much pressure, which may cause the inflator casing to rupture and could result in injury.”

Honda has reported one occurrence of the malfunction and Toyota has reported five.

The vehicles affected by the recall include 2001-2003 Honda Civics, 2001-2003 Honda CR-Vs, and 2002 Honda Odyssey minivans.

“If anyone is worried about the airbags in their vehicle, please give us a call,” said Tod McLaughlin of Apple Valley Honda dealership in Wenatchee, Wash. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our drivers and their passengers, so we want to make sure everything is as it should be.”

If you own a vehicle affected by this recall, please do not hesitate to contact Apple Valley Honda, Northwest Honda, or Sims Honda dealership.