US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today the recall of more than 2.12 million Acura, Dodge, Jeep, Honda, Pontiac, and Toyota vehicles from model years 2002 to 2004 for a defect that may cause airbags to deploy inadvertently.
The vehicles were subject to earlier recalls to address a problem with an electronic component manufactured by TRW that caused some airbags to deploy in the absence of a crash. The recalls will provide vehicle owners with a new remedy after the manufacturers’ original attempts to fix the defects proved ineffective in some vehicles.
NHTSA discovered through the monitoring of incoming data from consumers and automakers that some vehicles remedied under the previous recalls may have experienced inadvertent deployments. NHTSA urged all three automakers to issue new recalls to implement a more effective remedy. NHTSA has identified about 40 vehicles in which airbags deployed unexpectedly after receiving the original remedy. Vehicles subject to the new recall include:
2002-2003 Jeep Liberty and 2002-2004 Grand Cherokees (about 750,000 vehicles);
2003-2004 Honda Odysseys and 2003 Acura MDXs (about 370,000 vehicles);
2003-2004 Pontiac Vibes, Dodge Vipers, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrixes and Toyota Avalons (about 1 million vehicles, not all of which were sold in the United States)
Keeping the traveling public safe is our number one priority, and we expect the manufacturers to get this remedy right to prevent injury to drivers and their families.—Secretary Foxx
NHTSA said that action by consumers is especially important because about 1 million Toyota and Honda vehicles involved in these new recalls are also subject to a recall related to defective Takata airbags that may deploy with enough explosive force to cause injury or even death to vehicle occupants.
Because of the dangers involved in an inadvertent deployment, and because some of the vehicles involved may also have defective Takata airbags, NHTSA urges consumers who were covered by the original recalls to take their vehicles to their local dealer for the original remedy. That remedy significantly reduces the chance of an airbag deployment that presents a safety risk.
This is unfortunately a complicated issue for consumers, who may have to return to their dealer more than once. But this is an urgent safety issue, and all consumers with vehicles covered by the previous recalls should have that remedy installed. Even though it’s a temporary solution until the new remedy is available, they and their families will be safer if they take the time to learn if their vehicle is covered and follow their manufacturers’ instructions. A hassle is much better than a family tragedy.—NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind
NHTSA will take a series of additional steps to ensure safety, including:
Seeking additional information from TRW, which made the electronic part believed to be involved in the inadvertent deployments, about the potential defect, its causes, and whether other makes or models might be affected.
Seeking information from the automakers about how quickly they can make the new, more effective remedy available.
NHTSA strongly urges consumers to use its SaferCar.gov website or the SaferCar app for Apple and Android smartphones to determine whether their vehicle is subject to a recall, and to follow instructions from their manufacturer to schedule an appointment and have their vehicle fixed.