Continental Automotive Systems said Thursday that it supplied possibly faulty air bag controls to 5 million cars manufactured over a five-year period across the globe, prompting a recall of affected vehicles.
Continental Automotive, a Continental AG unit, told the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the potentially malfunctioning air bags are fitted in vehicles created by Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat Chrysler, Volvo Trucks North America and Mazda Motor Corp.
These air bag units, produced from 2006 to 2010, may not deploy in a crash or may deploy by accident with no warning.
Mary Arraf, a spokeswoman for Continental, said the recall affects 1.5 million to 2 million cars in the United States.
Fiat Chrysler said that 112,000 of its vehicles in the United States are covered by the recall, ranging from the 2009 Dodge Journey, 2008-2009 Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country and the 2009 Volkswagen Routan, which it assembled for Volkswagen. So far, it has already documented 25 cases of accidental air bag deployments.
Honda said that it is recalling 341,000 Accord models made from 2008 to 2010 to replace control units associated with the defective Continental air bag systems.
At the moment, Honda has already recorded two confirmed injuries linked to this defect. Furthermore, it has noted 1,575 warranty claims and 83 field reports. It also added that 74 injury accusations in connection with air bags that failed to deploy have yet to be verified.
Honda said, however, that replacement parts are presently scarce and can only be requested for cars with air bag issues and with vehicle damage. It went on to say that these parts aren't sufficient for all cars until autumn.
Meanwhile, an analyst thinks that the Continental air bag recall can't be compared to the Takata air bag recall, mainly because fewer vehicles are impacted by Continental's recall.
"I would classify this as a more traditional recall," said Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Rebecca Lindland. "I think comparisons [to Takata] are a little unfair to Continental."
Right now, 14 automakers have recalled around 25 million cars because of the defective Takata air bags. These air bags are said to rupture and produce possibly lethal metal pieces. Ten deaths and 100 injuries have been reported so far as a result of the faulty Takata air bags.