Another month, another air bag recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced the recall of 2.12 million previously recalled cars to again address faulty air bags.
The air bags could deploy inadvertently, without warning and without the vehicle’s being in a crash. The same cars were previously recalled because of a problem with an electronic component of the air bag that could cause unintended deployment.
The latest recall “will provide vehicle owners with a new remedy after the manufacturers’ original attempts to fix the defects proved ineffective in some vehicles,” according to a press release from NHTSA.
“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,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in the press release.
The vehicles involved in the latest recall include the Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix and Toyota Avalon from model years 2002, 2003 and 2004. Because recalled vehicles are more than a decade old, it makes it more difficult to find and notify the cars’ current owners.
NHTSA issued the follow-up recall after noticing some of the cars fixed under the previous recall still experienced unintended air bag deployments. The first repair involved the installation of devices to protect the air bag sensor from electrical surges.
About 1 million of the cars in the new recall — Hondas and Toyotas — were also subject to last year’s Takata air bag recall that involved defective air bags with explosive force that can cause injury or death, adding to the importance of the latest recall in terms of consumer safety.
NHTSA is urging owners of these vehicles to take their cars to the dealer for the original remedy. While this fix has had some issues, the NHTSA said it reduces the safety risk of an unintended air bag deployment.
“Even though it’s a temporary solution until the new remedy is available, [vehicle owners] and their families will be safer if they take the time to learn if their vehicle is covered and follow their manufacturers’ instructions,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “A hassle is much better than a family tragedy.”
NHTSA says it will seek to get more information from TRW, which manufactured the part believed to be causing the unintended deployments. It also says it will ask the carmakers how quickly a new, more effective fix – replacing the entire impact sensor for the air bag, according to an article posted on CNN – will be available for the cars.
Car owners can visit www.safercar.gov or use the SaferCar app to see if their vehicle is part of the recall and get more information about what to do.
This latest recall is another example of how defective products can affect your safety, especially when that product is a car that people use every day. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective air bag or other defective vehicle part, it’s important to contact a qualified automotive product liability lawyer right away.