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New Airbag Recall Targets 2.1M Cars

A federal auto safety agency has announced a new airbag recall affecting 2.1 million vehicles. The director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that the airbag recall included vehicles from Honda, Toyota, and Chrysler. The new recall involves airbags that deploy inadvertently and has been blamed for several injuries. The current recall is not related to the long-running recall of Takata airbags. The Takata airbag recall has affected more than 30 million vehicles and has been tied to at least six fatalities.

Details of the New Airbag Recall

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind told reporters that the new airbag recall was related to a defective microchip in the airbag deployment system. The faulty chip, manufactured by TRW Automotive Holdings, could send a signal to the airbag system to deploy prematurely. The recent airbag recall was prompted by at least 400 cases of accidental airbag deployment. While no reports of fatalities have been tied to the defect, several drivers have reported suffering minor injuries.

Airbag Recall Targets Honda, Toyota, Jeep Models

The models affected by the TRW airbag recall include:

  • 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty
  • 2002-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees
  • 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura MDX
  • 2003-2004 Pontiac Vibe
  • 2003-2004 Dodge Viper
  • 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla
  • 2003-2004 Toyota Matrix
  • 2003-2004 Toyota Avalon

The Jeep models included in the airbag recall affect more than 750,000 vehicles, while 370,000 vehicles are affected among the Honda and Acura models. The Pontiac, Dodge and Toyota models targeted in the recall total over 1 million vehicles, not all of which were sold in the U.S.

TRW Airbag Recall Follows Takata Reports

The TRW airbag recall follows closely on the Takata airbag recall announced late last year. The Takata recall involved reports of exploding airbags that would propel metal and plastic shards at drivers when the bags deployed. At least six fatalities, including on in the Houston area, have been attributed to the exploding Takata airbags. The Takata airbag incidents covered more than 30 million vehicles and spurred nationwide recalls from ten major automakers, including Honda, Toyota, GM, Chrysler and BMW.

Airbag Recalls Cause Concern for Automakers, Safety Groups

The handling of the TRW airbag recall has re-raised some of the same concerns prompted by the Takata incidents. Although the two airbag recalls were not related, over a million vehicles were affected by both issues. The TRW recall shows both automakers and federal safety enforcement agencies the difficulties involved in policing the sophisticated electronic systems in today’s cars. A spokesman for the NHTSA stated that auto dealers may have to wait several months to receive replacement parts for all the vehicles affected by the recall. This wait could leave drivers in jeopardy of accidents stemming from premature airbag deployments.

Sources: ReutersLA Times

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