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Hair-Trigger Airbags

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On: Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 2:45PM | By: Karen Cook

Hair-Trigger Airbags

We all know that airbags save lives. In the event of a crash the airbag deploys, sometimes causing minor injuries of its own, but saving the occupant from being ejected from the vehicle or slamming into the dashboard or windshield and possibly being killed. Most of us are willing to put up with some scrapes and bruises if it means walking away from an accident relatively unscathed.

Owners of 2008 Honda Accords, however, are facing injuries without life-threatening situations to warrant them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has launched an investigation into the spontaneous airbag deployment in these cars. It seems that it doesn’t take much to set off the over-enthusiastic side curtain and torso airbags. At least two complaints stated that the airbag deployed when the car door was shut. One of these resulted in injuries to a 9-year-old boy which caused him to miss a couple of days of school. Another complaint said the airbags deployed overnight in the owner’s garage with no instigation whatsoever.

So far there have been just over two dozen complaints with two situations resulting in injuries. That’s enough to open a Preliminary Investigation which could lead to an Engineering Analysis and possibly a full scale recall. If this final step is reached, the NHTSA estimates about 363,000 vehicles would be affected.

At this point there is nothing owners of these vehicles need to do except file a complaint if your airbags deploy on their own. You will be notified by mail if a recall is issued, and the repairs will be done free of charge.

Date Investigation Opened: JAN 31, 2014
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: PE14004
Component(s): AIR BAGS

Manufacturer: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)

ODI has identified 28 complaints alleging inadvertent deployment of the side air bags on model year 2008 Honda Accord vehicles. The complaints indicate the driver-side or passenger-side side curtain air bag and the side torso/seat-mounted air bag deployed when the driver or passenger door was shut. Two of the complaints reported injuries allegedly caused by the deploying air bags. ODI has opened this Preliminary Evaluation to evaluate the scope, frequency and consequence of the alleged defect. The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10232206, 10235294, 10255323, 10268158, 10268191, 10269514, 10276755, 10279446, 10280675, 10308292, 10319979, 10342520, 10353536, 10408925, 10436506, 10447151, 10458732, 10468196, 10468200, 10493407, 10494971, 10522291, 10524389, 10543092, 10544473, 10545258, 10547591, 10554073.


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