Honda airbag

Thought all the cars affected by the Takata airbag inflator crisis have already been recalled? Think again – Honda has announced yet another recall involving 668,816 cars in Japan. This time, it’s the passenger-side airbag which is the culprit here, and as before, the propellant in the airbag inflator is to blame.

Affected are the 2010-2011 Fit and Fit Hybrid (Jazz), 2011 Fit Shuttle, 2010-2011 Freed and Freed Spike, 2010-2011 Insight, 2009-2010 Civic, Civic Type R and Civic Hybrid, 2010-2011 CR-V, 2009-2011 Inspire (Accord), 2011 Accord Euro and Accord Tourer, 2009-2010 Legend and even the 2009-2010 FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Owners will be notified via mail, and should there be a shortage of replacement inflators, the airbag will be disabled as an interim measure, and a warning sticker will be placed on the passenger-side sun visor.

According to Automotive News, the latest recall brings the total Honda vehicles affected worldwide to around 51 million, around half of the circa-100 million units recalled over the Takata airbag inflator scandal – the biggest ever recall in automotive history. The defective safety devices have been linked to at least 14 deaths (including at least three in Malaysia) and 150 injuries worldwide.

Yesterday’s recall follows the Japanese transport ministry order in May to recall another 7 million vehicles by 2019 – these vehicles are equipped with Takata airbag inflators without a drying agent. The recalls, which will be conducted in stages, comes in the wake of an expanded recall by US transport authorities.

Without a drying agent, the propellant in the Takata airbag inflators – which uses ammonium nitrate – can explode violently following prolonged exposure to hot, humid conditions, spraying metal shrapnel at the vehicle’s occupants. Honda was once Takata’s largest customer, but has since confirmed that it will stop using the parts maker’s inflators in its new models, as well as its replacement inflators.

In the wake of the recalls, Takata is in the midst of searching for a financial backer, in order to help it overhaul its business and to offset skyrocketing costs. Its share price has fallen nearly 90% since early 2014, and it could face billions of dollars in liabilities.