The Takata airbag crisis is not yet over, as Honda has just expanded its recall order for vehicles equipped with potentially fatal airbags by the Japanese supplier.
The latest recall action by Honda, which involves 2.23 million vehicles, shows the lingering effects of Takata's mistake in the car company that is most affected by it.
In November of last year, Honda released a statement that noted the discontinuation of the usage of Takata-made airbags in its vehicles. The decision came as the supplier was found to be guilty of misinterpreting and manipulating test data.
Tests and testimonies revealed that the inflaters of the Takata airbags could potentially rupture upon the impact of the vehicle, sending shrapnel flying inside the cabin. Takata utilized ammonium nitrate within the inflaters to create a small explosion that rapidly inflates the airbag when the vehicles crashes. However, because the chemical has the risk of degrading as time passes due to exposure to humidity and heat, the inflaters can explode with too much force to blow apart the metal canister that is supposed to contain the explosion.
No less than eight people have died due to the defective airbags, with over 100 suffering injuries in related incidents.
However, despite the separation of Honda from Takata, the long partnership between the two companies continue to present headaches for the car manufacturer.
Honda, by itself, has now recalled about 8 million vehicles across the United States, which represents about a third of the overall total of the associated recalls of around 24 million vehicles.
The new recall order involves vehicles with older model years of 2005, but also includes vehicles that have been launched as recently as those with 2015 and 2016 model years.
The defect was first noticed in 2004, when the airbag of a 2002 Honda Accord ruptured. The companies, however, deemed the incident an anomaly and decided not to inform safety regulators. It was not until 2008 when Honda issued the first recall order covering the defect, and only for a total of about 4,000 vehicles.
Owners of vehicles involved in the recall order will be able to have their inflaters replaced. For instances when the replacements are not yet available, dealers have been told to provide loaner cars for free while waiting for the parts to arrive.