Honda Takata recall includes the Honda Element

Honda announced Friday that it’s ahead of schedule in replacing dangerous Takata airbag inflators in Honda and Acura models, and issued its final recall for 1.6 million vehicles.

At the heart of the problem is the airbag’s inflator, a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafers, which in some cases has ignited with explosive force. If the inflator housing ruptures in a crash, metal shards from the airbag can be sprayed throughout the passenger cabin, a potentially disastrous outcome from a supposedly life-saving device. 

The automaker says it has completed work on 83 percent of the affected models—a total of 22.6 million inflators in about 12.9 million Honda and Acura automobiles. Honda says it has parts available now to complete the recall process, and it encourages owners of affected Acura and Honda models to seek repairs immediately from their local dealership.

Honda Safety News

The company says it will notify owners by mail in mid-August about the parts and urge them to have the recall work done.

“Despite this tremendous progress, there’s still much work to be done,” said a Honda spokesman, Chris Martin. “We encourage everyone to recheck your VIN for open recalls and, if you find one that applies to your car, get it fixed as soon as possible.” Martin says that loaner cars will be available free to registered owners while the work is being done.

Honda owners can learn more about the company’s airbag recalls here.

The Takata recall covers 50 million airbag inflators in 37 million cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks from 19 manufacturers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Honda’s announcement is part of an effort by NHTSA and automakers to space out the replacement of Takata airbag inflators based on the risk to drivers and passengers.

The devices use ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbag in the event of a crash. The ammonium nitrate can become unstable over time, leading to inflators that explode with an unexpectedly violent force.

According to NHTSA, if the defective airbag ruptures, it can spray sharp metal fragments directly at the driver and passengers, increasing the risk of death or injury.

At least 15 drivers and passengers in the U.S. have died and more than 250 people have been injured because of the airbag inflators, NHTSA says.

The goal has been to get replacement inflators to vehicle owners in the highest-risk regions first, and then to the rest of the country as the supply of replacement inflators grows. This is the first of the last wave of recalls; other automakers are expected to announce their final round of recalls early in 2020.

“We applaud Honda’s announcement today. The company has really stepped up over the last few years to get deadly, defective Takata airbags out of its vehicles,” says William Wallace, manager of safety policy for Consumer Reports. “We wish we could say the same for every other automaker, some of which are failing consumers and leaving them at risk. NHTSA should use fines and other tools to hold those companies accountable and require them to take stronger action.”

The Details: Vehicles Involved

2003 Acura 3.2CL
2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
2013-2016 Acura ILX
2003-2006 Acura MDX
2007-2016 Acura RDX
2005-2012 Acura RL
2009-2014 Acura TL
2009-2014 Acura TSX
2010-2013 Acura ZDX

2001-2012 Honda Accord
2010-2015 Honda Accord Crosstour/Crosstour
2001-2011 Honda Civic
2002-2011 Honda CR-V
2011-2015 Honda CR-Z
2003-2011 Honda Element
2010-2014 Honda FCX Clarity
2007-2014 Honda Fit
2010-2014 Honda Insight
2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
2003-2015 Honda Pilot
2006-2014 Honda Ridgeline
2006-2010 Honda GL1800 Gold Wing (motorcycle)

The problem: Defective airbags can seriously injure or kill the driver and/or front passenger. 

The fix: Replace the driver and/or passenger front airbag as needed.

How to contact the manufacturer: Automobile owners can also check their vehicle's recall status now at the Acura Recall Lookup page and Honda Recall Lookup page or by calling 888-234-2138. Motorcycle customers can check recall status at the company's Product Recall Information page or by calling 866-784-1870 for Honda motorcycle recall information.

Stay informed about recalls that might affect your vehicle by using our Car Recall Tracker. Create a free account now to become a CR member. 

Honda Takata recall includes the Honda Accord
2001 Honda Accord