Takata Recall in Virginia

While the Takata recall has been ongoing, Honda announced recently that it is recalling 772,000 additional Honda and Acura vehicles in the U.S. for defective front seat air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. The vehicles, announced in a recall late yesterday, are part of an expanded recall of 1.29 million vehicles. More than 100 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, almost 70 million Takata air bag inflators in about 42 million vehicles are or will be under a Takata recall by 2019. This will affect thousands of vehicles across Virginia.

As reported on this site, defective Takata air bags have caused 16 deaths worldwide and nearly 200 injuries. Takata uses a cheaper chemical compound, ammonium nitrate, to cause a small explosion designed to inflate the air bags in a crash. Studies have shown that ammonium nitrate becomes unstable over time and as a result of exposure to high heat, humidity or other sources of moisture. As a result, a minor fender bender may cause the inflators to rupture and spray metal shrapnel into the vehicle, causing death or severe shrapnel wounds to drivers and passengers.

According to the DMV release, while the recall covers more than a dozen makes of automobiles, certain Hondas and Acura models pose the most urgent threat. This conclusion may be misleading, as Honda was an owner of Takata. It is reasonable to conclude that Honda vehicles were almost exclusively fitted with Takata airbags, while other auto manufacturers may have used different air bags. The bottom line is that any vehicle with a Takata air bag poses a risk to occupants.

According to NHTSA, about 1,400 of the vehicles subject to the Takata recall are in the Richmond area; 1,500 in Tidewater and 9,000 in northern Virginia and D.C. The DMV release lists the following vehicles as posing the greatest risk:

* 2001-02 Honda Accord
* 2001-02 Honda Civic
* 2003 Honda Pilot
* 2002-03 Acura TL/CL
* 2002 Honda Odyssey
* 2002 Honda CR-V

The Tuesday recall also covers the 2009-2012 Acura TSX, 2011-2012 Acura TSX Wagon, 2010-2012 Acura ZDX, 2010-2012 Honda Crosstour, 2005-2011 Honda CR-V, 2005-2011 Honda Element, 2012 Honda FCX Clarity, 2005-2012 Honda Pilot and 2006-2012 Honda Ridgeline,the 2005-2006 Acura MDX, 2005-2012 Acura RL, 2008-2012 Honda Accord, 2006-2011 Honda Civic, 2007-2012 Honda Fit and 2010-2012 Honda Insight.

Virginia drivers should know if their vehicle is subject to a Takata air bag recall. To find out, look on the lower left side of you windshield, on your driver’s door jamb, or on your vehicle registration card for your VIN. Then, go to Safer.gov and look at the upper right corner of the website – Takata Recall Update. Beneath that heading is a yellow box – Search for Recalls by VIN. Type in your VIN and you will find out from NTHSA if your vehicle is subject to the Takata recall.