30,000+ Hondas, Acuras in Florida need immediate repairs for potentially deadly airbags

Takata recalling 33.8 million air bags, biggest ever in U.S. (Image 1)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Honda is warning Florida drivers that not replacing Takata airbags could have a deadly outcome.

Honda and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) say there are more than 30,000,  2001 to 2003 model Honda and Acura vehicles in Florida that need to be repaired immediately.

“It is extremely important that Floridians know that certain 2001-2003 model Honda and Acura vehicles equipped with Takata airbag inflators are causing serious injuries or death as a result of an inflator rupture. These need to be replaced ASAP,” said Honda in a news release on Monday.

Honda said that Florida’s hot and humid climate increases the chances of inflators rupturing, making the cars deadly time bombs for the drivers.

When a recalled airbag inflator ruptures, pieces of metal could shoot through the airbag cushion and hit the driver or passengers, resulting in serious injury or death. According to a recent study, recalled Takata airbag inflators in these 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles in the state of Florida have a rupture rate of 50 percent, even in a common fender bender.

Notices were sent in September to owners of Hondas and Acuras that are impacted and the notices should not be ignored, according to the DHSMV.

“Drivers of vehicles affected by this recall should make an appointment as soon as possible and Honda/Acura assures us the replacement airbags are available,” says Terry L. Rhodes, Executive Director of the Florida DHSMV.

“Florida’s hot and humid climate increases the chances airbag inflators will explode, making it critical for these vehicle owners to heed the recall notice and immediately take the vehicle in for the necessary repair.”

The following are the 2001-2003 model year vehicles that may be equipped with recalled Takata driver airbag inflators, and are the subject of the DHSMV and Honda/Acura call to action:

  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2003 Acura 3.2CL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Honda Pilot

The replacement of the Takata airbag inflator is free of charge for all customers. Repairs take little time, replacement parts for these models are readily available and customers are not obligated to have unrelated maintenance or other vehicle issues fixed at the same time as the recall repair. Honda/Acura will provide a loaner car, if necessary, while a customer’s car is being repaired and a Honda/Acura dealer can also arrange to tow a vehicle to and from the desired location at no cost.

Honda/Acura urges affected drivers to immediately call 1-888-234-2138 for repair information. The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends that these vehicles only be driven to an authorized dealer in order to have the Takata airbag inflators replaced as rapidly as possible. To search for an authorized dealer, consumers can visit http://www.recalls.honda.com or http://www.recalls.acura.com depending on the make of their vehicle.

Honda and Acura owners should check for recalls by locating their vehicle identification number (VIN) – found in the top left corner of the vehicle’s dashboard through the windshield – and enter the number into the VIN check on http://www.recalls.honda.com, http://www.recalls.acura.com or http://www.safercar.gov.

Consumers also can find answers to general questions about the Takata airbag inflator recalls, including about the higher risk inflators in these vehicles at this website. Any concerned customer can also contact Honda/Acura’s Automobile Customer Service at 888-234-2138.

RELATED: US confirms 11th death due to Takata air bags

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