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From Products Liability Law Daily, February 2, 2015

NHTSA announces follow up recall of 2.12 million cars and SUVs

By Joe Bichl

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced the recall of more than 2.12 million Acura, Dodge, Jeep, Honda, Pontiac, and Toyota vehicles for a defect that may cause airbags to deploy inadvertently. The recall campaigns will provide vehicle owners with a new remedy after the manufacturers’ original attempts to repair the defects proved ineffective in some vehicles.

The new recalls include:

  • 1,006,849 model year 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla vehicles, 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix vehicles, 2003-2004 Avalon, and 2003-2004 Pontiac Vibe vehicles;

  • 374,177 model year 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey and 2003 Acura MDX vehicles; and

  • 753,176 model year 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty vehicles, 2002-2004 Jeep Cherokee vehicles, and 2003-2004 Dodge Viper vehicles

The vehicles were subject to earlier recalls to address a problem with an electronic component manufactured by TRW that caused some airbags to deploy while the vehicle was being driven and in the absence of an accident, according to NHTSA. Due to electrical noise beyond the tolerance of the air bag electronic control module (ECM), a component in the ECM may fail, causing the front air bags, side air bags, and/or seatbelt pretensioners to deploy inadvertently while the vehicle is being operated.

NHTSA urged all three automakers to issue new recalls after determining through data monitoring that approximately 40 vehicles remedied under the previous recalls may have experienced inadvertent deployments. See Product Recalls stories below for complete details on these recalls.

In light of the Takata airbag recalls, NHTSA stated that action by consumers is especially important because about one million Toyota and Honda vehicles involved in these new recalls are also subject to the Takata recall. NHTSA is concerned that because of the dangers involved in an inadvertent deployment, and because some of the vehicles involved may also have defective Takata airbags, these airbags may deploy with enough explosive force to cause injury or even death to vehicle occupants.

“This is unfortunately a complicated issue for consumers, who may have to return to their dealer more than once,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind in an agency release. “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.”

Companies: Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chrysler

MainStory: TopStory NHTSANewsStory MotorVehiclesNews ProductRecallsNews

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