Two New Airbag Recalls Issued
September 17, 2012

by Casey Neeley,

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued two new airbag-related safety recalls. CODA Automotive of Los Angeles and Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) of Torrence, Calif., have begun recalls for vehicles with airbag defects. The CODA recall affects around 78 CODA 2012 model vehicles with defective side curtain airbags, while the Honda recall may affect 17 Ridgeline 2012 model vehicles manufactured on April 18, 2012 with an improper passenger airbag status indicator.

In a letter to affected CODA owners dated August 29, Michael Robinson, director of product safety and regulatory compliance, states, “CODA has determined that the roof-mounted side curtain airbag(s) on [the affected] vehicle may not have been properly installed. In the event of a side impact that requires the deployment of a side curtain airbag, an improperly installed side curtain airbag may not deploy as intended and thereby increase the risk of injury.”

In another letter, dated August 16, Robinson explains the concern for the defect. “During a New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) test, although found to be compliant, the driver’s side airbag did not deploy as intended due to the curtain airbag not being properly installed.”

Owners of defective CODA vehicles will be notified by mail and encouraged to seek repair as part of the Safety Recall Campaign #R84001/NHTSA Recall #12V-409 for the affected CODA vehicles.

Robinson reports that “there are no know incidents or injuries relating to this [defect] condition.”

Honda also issued a recall for their 2012 Ridgeline models. In a letter dated September 11, Jennifer Timian, chief of the recall management division for NHTSA, cites the defect as “an incorrect passenger airbag status indicator [which] may have been installed on the vehicles causing them to fail to conform to the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, “Occupant Crash Protection.”

Jay Joseph, senior manager of the product regulatory office for Honda, claims in a letter dated August 31, “Honda Manufacturing of Alabama incorrectly installed the Canadian version of the passenger airbag telltale (which is incorporated into the hazard switch assembly) on a total of seventeen (17) 2012 Honda Ridgeline vehicles for the U.S. market. This creates a failure to comply with FMVSS 208 S4.5.4.3b, which states that the indicator ‘shall have the identifying words ‘passenger airbag off’ or ‘pass airbag off’ on the telltale.’”

CODA began sending notification letters to owners during the week of August 27. An estimated completion date for the CODA recall has yet to be determined. Honda originally estimated completion by September 21, 2012, but now plans to begin mailing notifications on or around that date; phone calls to customers began immediately.

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