Honda airbag

In news that could possibly rattle owners of 2008 Honda Accord models, TheDetroitNews has reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is apparently opening a formal investigation into 384,000 units of the 2008 model year Accord in the US over reports that airbags are not deploying in a crash due to an electronic glitch.

According to the publication, the NHTSA says that the airbag control module may prevent the airbags from deploying in a crash ‘due to a malfunction that causes the airbag status / readiness indicator lamp to illuminate and the airbag system being disabled until repaired’. This really is quite a disturbing development, with at least 19 complaints being linked to this anomaly, with one crash and one injury, apparently.

Speaking to the publication, the formal response from the NHTSA is as follows: “Consumers report the SRS control module had to be replaced to correct the condition. Several reports indicated that the SRS module was unable to communicate thus preventing diagnostic trouble codes from being retrieved.”

SRS-Airbag

Furthermore, the NHTSA went on to say that “an inability of the SRS unit to communicate raises concern about the readiness of the entire supplemental restraints system…as a result, for vehicles with a failed SRS module, some or all of the airbags may be unavailable in a crash warranting deployment.”

Some of the complaints lodged with the NHTSA cover a range disturbing scenarios, but most disappointing of all was the Honda dealers’ attitude towards the problem as most repairs were not carried out in a timely fashion, with no free loaners available for customers affected. Hefty repairs bills ranging from US$500 (RM2,110) to US$700 (RM2,952) were also reported.

A Honda spokesman told the publication that the automaker “will cooperate with the NHTSA through the investigation process, and will continue our own internal review of the available information.” In the meantime, if you do own a 2008 Honda Accord here in Malaysia, and if you do see the airbag indicator light coming on, do get it checked out. As they say, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.