27 June 2016

Honda's Takata Airbag-Related Recalls

Takata Airbags ... Defective?

Takata, an airbag manufacturer, has been linked to defective airbags that inflate with too much force. Metal parts or shrapnel to lodge into the driver's chest and other vital parts, leading to death.

A number Honda cars are fitted with Takata airbags. 

The Takata airbag's defects while inflating has caused shrapnel and bits of metal to shoot out at the driver. Honda Malaysia has launched a massive recall recently (again) as the number of Malaysian casualties increase. Source of image

Malaysian Casualties

Here is a list of some Malaysian casualties compiled from a casual search on the Internet, using Google.
  1. 27th July, 2014: Woman and her fetus died. Location: Sibu, Malaysia. Car model: 2003 Honda City. Cause: Victim's car crashed into another car, and victim's "SRS air-bag was deployed abnormally and the inflator case was broken." (Bloomberg, 2014.) Victim's name was Law Suk Leh. (BusinessInsider, 2016)
  2. 16th April, 2016: Victim unknown. Location: Sabah, Malaysia. Car model: 2006 Honda City. Cause: "Takata single stage (SDI) driver’s airbag inflator ruptured in the crash" (Paultan, 2016 and New Sabah Times, 2016)
  3. 1st May, 2016: Victim unknown. Location: Kedah, Malaysia. Car model: 2003 Honda City. Cause: "Takata single stage (SDI) driver’s airbag inflator ruptured in the crash" (Paultan, 2016 and New Sabah Times, 2016)
  4. 26th June, 2016: Victim unknown. Woman (mother of two). Location: Outside Kuala Lumpur. Car model: 2005 Honda City. Cause: "the Takata single stage driver's airbag inflator ruptured in a crash." (Straits Times, 2016.)
Total deaths worldwide linked to Takata airbags: 13, as of 4th May 2016. (Yahoo News, 2016) 14 if you include the latest (26th June 2016) incident.

Total deaths in Malaysia linked to Takata airbags: 5, as of today. That's almost a third of the deaths worldwide.

Recalls by Honda Malaysia

Honda Malaysia has made a number of vehicle recalls to replace the faulty airbag inflators.
  1. 13th November 2014: 15,734 cars. (Paultan, 2014 and The Star, 2014)
  2. 10th July 2015: 143,970 cars. (The Star, 2015)
  3. June 2015: 46,710 cars. (The Star, 2015)
  4. 24th May 2016: 58,140 cars. (Paultan, 2016)
  5. 23rd June 2016: 147,894 cars. (WeMotor blog, 2016.)
Total vehicle recalls worldwide (presumably including other car manufacturers) linked to Takata airbags: 118.5 million, as of 9th May 2016. (Bloomberg, 2016)

Takata is now on a burning platform. Read: The origin of the burning platform metaphor.

Moving Forward

Do you own a Honda? How can you know whether you are affected? By right, you should be receiving a letter from Honda if you are affected, to let you know that you need to visit them. I'm not sure if the letter would mention Takata airbags, so you might just put it aside.

But, in case you don't get your letter, and you are panicking:

Key your VIN or Chassis Number into the Honda Website

The VIN (vehicle information number) or the chassis number can be found on the JPJ registration card or in the Honda Service Booklet. It can also be found on the vehicle body: On the passenger's side centre pillar or the engine bay firewall.

Honda's Product Update website can be found HERE. (Source: Countersteer, 2016.)

Check Your Car Model

For airbag-related recalls, the affected models are:
  • Accord (2003 - 2007)
  • City (2003 - 2012)
  • Civic (2001 - 2011)
  • Civic Hybrid (2003 & 2007 - 2012)
  • CR-V (2002 - 2011 & 2013)
  • Insight (2011 - 2012)
  • Jazz (2003 - 2007 & 2009 - 2012)
  • Stream (2003 - 2005 & 2007 - 2012)

You may also want to check the Product Update website even if your car is not affected. Honda is also recalling vehicles for the following defects:
  1. Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT); and
  2. 12V battery.

Call the Honda Malaysia Toll Free Number

Honda Malaysia’s Toll Free number is 1-800-88-2020.

You cannot order pizzas on this number.

Visit A Honda Dealer

If everything else fails, just visit a Honda dealer. They'll want to sell you a new car, and you can decide whether you will after you see how they treat you. (Especially if you walk in without any letter -- would they layan you or tell you to bring the letter?)

These crash test dummies are super excited to be the first line of defence against defective Takata airbags. They even get a chance to sit in the latest Honda models. Image source: Autoblog

But If It's Too Late...

If your loved one was killed by a Takata airbag, and you are considering legal action against Takata / Honda, get in touch. (I can represent people in court.)

Further Reading.

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