2.12 Million Vehicles Are Re-Recalled Over Airbag Problem, Dodge Viper Included

BMW Series 3 Airbag Deployment 1 photo
Photo: Euro NCAP
As if the Takata airbag recall saga of 2014 wasn't enough to bring the supplier to its knees, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration dropped this bomb: "Previously recalled vehicle remedies not working as designed; NHTSA announces follow up recall of 2.12 million cars and SUVs." Bummer...
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox is a man on a mission when it comes to keeping the traveling public safe and sound, the reason why a whopping 2.12 million vehicles are being re-recalled over a potential fault affecting their airbag control modules. But first, here are the nameplates that are due a second visit to the dealership's service department:

  • 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)

Thing is, some of these vehicles have been recalled once before in the Takata airbag saga. As the NHTSA highlights, "about 1.2 million vehicles made by Toyota and Honda that are the subject of these recalls have also been recalled because a defect in their airbags may cause them to deploy with too much force, breaking apart the airbag mechanism and causing parts to fly at high speed into the passenger compartment."

So how're they going to fix all of these 2.12 million faulty vehicles?

That a really delicate question. NHTSA informs that each carmaker will have to independently replace the airbag control unit in their vehicles, "but it is likely to take several months for the companies to get enough parts to fix all 2.12 million vehicles." Before the replacement parts become available, the NHTSA says that owners can go to the service department for a "temporary remedy to protect the electronic control unit from damage. While it has not been 100% effective, this fix will significantly reduce the chances of an inadvertent airbag deployment that could cause injuries or a crash."

Last but not least, we deem necessary to point out a very important detail of this 2.12-million strong safety recall campaign: the NHTSA recently determined that a small number of vehicles that had been already fixed under previous recalls had experienced inadvertent airbag deployments and the agency urged all three automakers to issue new recalls to implement a more effective remedy. Let's keep those fingers crossed and hope that the NHTSA and airbag supplier TRW make haste and produce replacements ASAP.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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