Honda Malaysia has announced that it has recalled the 1999 Accord (sixth-generation) and 2000 CR-V (first-generation) to replace their Takata driver’s side airbags. A total of 2,784 vehicles are affected, consisting of 1,380 units of the Accord and 1,404 units of the CR-V.

The latest exercise is part of Honda’s global non-azide driver airbag inflator (NADI) recall. It is completely separate from the long-running Takata airbag scandal from the past decade, involving a different defect altogether. Manufactured without the appropriate seals, these inflators could allow air and moisture to seep in over time, causing the propellant to degrade.

As such, the airbag could deploy too slowly in a crash or, in rare instances, too forcefully. In the latter scenario, the inflator could rupture and throw metal shards at the driver or passengers. In both instances, occupants could be seriously injured or killed.

According to Honda’s American arm early this year, the company is aware of one such rupture occurring on the road globally, which happened in Texas in 2012. There have also been two ruptures in Japan when the vehicles were being scrapped.

To date, there have been no ruptures or injuries in Malaysia involving the two models listed, Honda Malaysia said. The company also assured buyers that current models being sold are not affected by this recall.

Honda Malaysia will inform affected customers via notification letters, which will include details of the recall. Once these customers receive their letters, they are urged to contact any authorised dealer to make an appointment to replace the front driver’s airbag inflator, subject to parts availability.

Those who are aware of relatives or friends who own these two models are also encouraged to contact the company to arrange for the replacement. As is always the case for a recall, this service is free of charge, with all costs borne by Honda Malaysia.

The company said it is taking all necessary precautions at its dealerships to safeguard the wellbeing of customers and staff during this pandemic. Firstly, customers are required to make an appointment in advance to ensure a quick and smooth replacement process.

They will also need to comply with government-mandated standard operating procedures (SOPs) during their entire time at the dealership, such as wearing their face masks correctly, maintaining physical distancing and sanitising their hands frequently.

If you own one of these vehicles but are unsure if you are affected by the recall, you can call Honda Malaysia’s toll-free number at 1-800-88-2020 for more information or visit the official website to check your vehicle status.