Continental to NHTSA: 5m cars may have faulty airbags

Monday, 08 Feb, 2016

Analysts said the two air bag recalls are not comparable, especially because Continental has a smaller market share than Takata, and Continental's recall affects far fewer vehicles.

According to a filing with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) made public on Thursday, the defective airbag components were manufactured by Continental over a five-year period, from 2006 to 2010.

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 US automotive history. The repairs are scheduled to begin this summer, and owners should receive a letter notifying them about the recall within 60 days and will get a second message when parts are available. In total, 112,001 FCA vehicles and Volkswagen Routans are affected. Nine of the deaths were in vehicles made by Honda. They will be invited to take their vehicle to their local Honda dealership so an inspection can be completed and, if a fault is found, fit a replacement airbag inflator unit. At least two injuries are attributed to the defect. It also adds that dealers will be responsible for any lawsuits stemming from the sale of an unrepaired, affected vehicle, according to the report. Previously the Takata airbag recall had pertained to older models, generally from model year 2008 and earlier.

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NHTSA said tens of millions of other vehicles with Takata airbags will likely need to be recalled eventually. On Wednesday, Honda issued a recall for 2.23 million vehicles with potentially faulty Takata air bags.

Honda, meanwhile, said it would recall roughly 341,000 2008-2010 Accord sedans in the U.S.to replace an electronic-control unit susceptible to moisture that can lead to corrosion and eventual malfunction, causing an air bag to fail to deploy. Until the vehicles are identified, customers won't be able to use Honda's and NHTSA's online databases to check their vehicle identification numbers for the recall. Shrapnel has been known to tear through the airbags and hit drivers in the face and neck. Parts are expected to be available in Fall 2016.

That recall crisis is now expanding, with Takata alerting automakers that some newer models of its airbags are also at risk of exploding.