‘Most Dangerous' Air Bags Prompt New Alert; Feds Warn Driving These Vehicles Can Kill You

Thousands of Acura and Honda vehicles with air bags at 50% risk of rupturing are still on the roads, prompting this urgent plea from the head of the feds' highway safety agency: 'Don't gamble with your life'

Honda issued a "Do Not Drive" warning Friday for more than 8,000 vehicles that are still on the roads, despite having Takata air bags linked to 50% risk of rupture, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

The dire warning includes certain 2001-2003 Acura and Honda vehicles equipped with unrepaired Takata Alpha driver side air bag inflators. If you own one of them and still have an open Takata air bag recall, here's the message from the feds: "Do not drive it until this urgent, lifesaving recall has been completed."

According to the NHTSA statement: "These vehicles are 20 to 22 years old now, and the risk to vehicle occupants is dire. Alpha air bags are some of the oldest under recall, and they have a 50% failure rate. If the inflators rupture, the metal fragments ejected toward the driver’s face could kill or leave them with devastating, life-altering injuries."

Free replacement parts are available. Check your vehicle for recalls here. Acura/Honda customer service can be reached at 888-234-2138 or by visiting their Takata website.

Is My Vehicle Affected?

About 8,200 Honda and Acura vehicles with the most dangerous air bags are still being driven today, NHTSA says. Honda has replaced or accounted for more than 99% of Alpha inflators, but NHTSA says it is "absolutely critical" that these remaining vehicle owners act now to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Models with Alpha air bags include:

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

How to Check for Recalls

  • Use NHTSA’s Recalls Lookup Tool to check your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for any open safety recalls, including the urgent Takata recall
  • Download its SaferCar app and let it check automatically for you
  • If your vehicle does have a safety recall, call your automaker’s local dealer to schedule the free recall repair
  • Sign up at NHTSA.gov/Alerts to be notified by email if your vehicle is affected by a future recall

"If you have a vehicle with a recalled Takata Alpha air bag, you must get it repaired now – for free. These inflators are two decades old now, and they pose a 50% chance of rupturing in even a minor crash," NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson said in a statement Friday. "Don’t gamble with your life or the life of someone you love – schedule your free repair today before it’s too late."

NHTSA launched an investigation of more than 30 million air bags in more than 200 models from 20 automakers a year ago because of concerns over explosions and shrapnel. It covers air bags made between 2011 and 2019 by the now-bankrupt Takata.

Defective Takata airbags have been linked to at least 23 deaths in the United States and nearly three dozen worldwide, reports say. More than 200 people have been injured.

Vehicle owners who prefer talking to the manufacturer directly can call Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Takata Call Center Phone at: 833-585-0144. To find out Takata-specific information from other vehicle manufacturers, check here. Get full information on the recall here.

Copyright NBC New York
Contact Us