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From Products Liability Law Daily, June 16, 2015

Honda and Toyota announce expanded recalls of vehicles affected by defective Takata air bag inflators

By John Dumoulin and Pamela C. Maloney, J.D.

Both American Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor North America have expanded their recalls of vehicles equipped with Takata front passenger air bag inflators. These new groups of vehicles have a passenger side frontal air bag that may be susceptible to moisture intrusion which, over time, could cause the inflator to rupture upon its deployment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger's frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture, with metal fragments striking the passenger seat occupant or other occupants, possibly causing serious injury or death. The expanded recalls were announced by Hondo and Toyota in response to recent information from Takata and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Honda recall. Honda announced that it has added 1.39 million vehicles not previously subject to either a recall or a safety improvement campaign to the list of vehicles affected by defects in the passenger front airbag inflators, raising the number of affected Honda vehicles to an estimated 2,300,000. The most recent recall affects model year 2003-2007 Honda Accord vehicles manufactured from August 16, 2002, to August 28, 2007 and equipped with a four cylinder engine, and 2001-2005 Honda Civic vehicles manufactured from April 25, 2000, to September 2, 2005 (NHTSA Recall Notice, No. 15V370, Report receipt date: June 15, 2015).

Honda noted that approximately 915,000 vehicles included in existing passenger front airbag inflator recalls and Honda’s voluntary safety improvement campaigns (NHTSA 13V132, 14V349, 14V353, or 14V700 (Honda recall numbers S95, JH6, JH7, JH8, JH9, JJ0, JJ1, JJ2, JJ6, JM5, and JM6)) will transition into this new recall. Honda also announced that this recall does not alter the nature or scope of the national driver front airbag inflator recall that was announced on May 28, 2015.

Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger air bag inflator, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 13, 2015. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda's numbers for this recall are JS1 and JS2.

Toyota recall. Toyota’s recall affects approximately 1,365,000 additional 2003-2007 Corolla and Corolla Matrix; 2005-2006 Tundra; 2005-2007 Sequoia; 2003-2007 Lexus SC430 vehicles. This brings the total number of Toyota and Lexus vehicles covered by Takata recalls in the United States to approximately 2,915,000. The company announced that all known owners of the affected Toyota/Lexus vehicles will be notified by first class mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota/Lexus dealer. The dealer will replace the airbag inflator with a newly manufactured one. For any additional questions, customer support is also available by calling Toyota Customer Service at 1-800-331-4331, or Lexus Customer Service at 1-800-255-3987.

Contact information. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Companies: American Honda Motor Co.; Takata Corp.

MainStory: TopStory MotorVehiclesNews

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