Make us your home page
Instagram

Honda and Acura step up efforts to warn 30,000 Florida drivers that their Takata airbags could kill them

In a rare partnership, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has teamed up with Honda to warn about 30,000 Florida drivers that they are putting their lives at risk if they do not get their airbags fixed.

"It has reached a level of risk we can't ignore and we need customers to come in immediately," said Honda spokesman Chris Martin. The company is asking drivers to go directly to any Honda dealership where it will replace the part for free.

There is a 50 percent chance that certain Honda and Acura models built from 2001 to 2003, which include Civics, CR-Vs, Accords, Odysseys, Pilots as well as the Acura 3.2TL and 3.2CL, will explode when the airbag deploys, even in the case of a minor fender bender. So far, about 70 percent of the inflators have been replaced nationwide, Martin said.

More than 150 people have been hurt and 11 people killed in the U.S. as a result faulty airbag inflators built by Japan-based Takata Corp. A California grandmother was killed just a few weeks ago after the airbag in her 2001 Honda Civic exploded in a crash.

Over the summer, a 27-year-old Tampa woman was sprayed with shrapnel but survived after the airbag exploded in her 2004 Honda Accord during a minor fender bender.

The defective inflators are part of the largest automotive recall in U.S. history, impacting nearly one in four vehicles on the road today.

The vehicles most at risk, however, have been under recall since about 2008 and are located in high-humidity states, including Florida, Texas and Southern California. The company said it has issued about 20 recall notifications to get those drivers to bring in their vehicle to any authorized Honda or Acura car dealership, where a mechanic will replace the part for free.

Recall repairs for older cars have been a trouble spot for the auto industry. A congressional report released over the summer stated that auto manufacturers have trouble contacting those owners — especially in the case of a resale — and that they are less likely to fix the problem.

Therefore, Honda and Acura have asked the state for help in crosschecking VIN and registration information to better target those drivers.

"As far as I know this is the first time a major manufacturer has reached out for help with a recall," said DHSMV spokeswoman Beth Frady. She noted that Honda paid for the notifications and state resources used in the partnership. The notices were sent out last month but both agencies issued a news release this week in an attempt to raise awareness.

"The more traction we get the more lives we can save," Frady said.

Contact Alli Knothe at aknothe@tampabay.com. Follow @KnotheA.

Impacted vehicles:

2001-2002 Honda Accord

2001-2002 Honda Civic

2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL

2002 Honda CR-V

2002 Honda Odyssey

2003 Acura 3.2CL

2003 Honda Pilot

What to do if you drive one of these vehicles:

1. Enter your VIN at www.safercar.gov to check if it is under recall. If it is under recall, do not drive the vehicle.

2. Schedule an appointment or go to any authorized dealership specific to your car. Honda drivers can go to any Honda dealership and Acura to any Acura dealership. A scheduled appointment should take about an hour, Martin said.

The company will pay for a tow truck or rental car for impacted drivers if needed. There is no pressure to purchase anything during the visit, Martin said.

Honda and Acura step up efforts to warn 30,000 Florida drivers that their Takata airbags could kill them 10/21/16 [Last modified: Friday, October 21, 2016 6:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Amid a record turnout, regional technology group spotlights successes, desire to do more

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — They came. They saw. They celebrated Tampa Bay's tech momentum.

    A record turnout event by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, held May 24 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, featured a panel of area tech executives talking about the challenges encountered during their respective mergers and acquisitions. Show, from left to right, are: Gerard Purcell, senior vice president of global IT integration at Tech Data Corp.; John Kuemmel, chief information officer at Triad Retail Media, and Chris Cate, chief operating officer at Valpak. [Robert Trigaux, Times]
  2. Take 2: Some fear Tampa Bay Next transportation plan is TBX redux

    Transportation

    TAMPA — For many, Wednesday's regional transportation meeting was a dose of deja vu.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. But the plan remains the same: spend $60 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area interstates that are currently free of tolls. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  3. Palm Harbor boat dealer facing litany of complaints of bad deals

    Business

    PALM HARBOR — With an aging father sick in the hospital and a son just graduating high school, Andrew Kashella, in between jobs, knew what he had to do.

    A sign on a front window of Gulf Coast Boat Sales, 37517 Us Highway 19 N, in Palm Harbor, notifies people they are under restructuring  The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has received 20 complaints against Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor. Complainants say they sold the shop their boats and never got paid and/or paid for boats they never received. Pinellas County Consumer Protection is leading the investigation.
  4. To catch a poacher: Florida wildlife officers set up undercover gator farm sting

    Wildlife

    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, state wildlife officers created the ultimate undercover operation.

    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set up an undercover operation. They created their own alligator farm, complete with plenty of real, live alligators, watched over by real, live undercover wildlife officers. It also had hidden video cameras to record everything that happened. That was two years ago, and on Wednesday wildlife officers announced that they arrested nine people on  44 felony charges alleging they broke wildlife laws governing alligator harvesting, transporting eggs and hatchlings across state lines, dealing in stolen property, falsifying records, racketeering and conspiracy. The wildlife commission released these photos of alligators, eggs and hatchlings taken during the undercover operation. [Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  5. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    Demonstrators protests the passage of a House Republican health care bill, outside the the Capitol in Washington, on May 4. The House took the unusual step of voting on the American Health Care Act before the Congressional Budget Office could assess it. That analysis was released Thursday and it showed the bill would cause 23 million fewer people to have health insurance by 2026. Many additional consumers would see skimpier health coverage and higher deductibles, the budget office projected.