A type of Takata air bag inflator once thought to be safe has now come under scrutiny after a crash and explosion in the USA state of Maryland injured the driver of a Honda minivan. The metal canister that holds this chemical explodes, sending shrapnel flying at high speeds.
This set of recalls is part of the largest series of automotive recalls in USA history, which includes as many as 70 million vehicles recalled.
Honda said it suspects the desiccant was improperly handled at a Takata plant in Mexico, allowing the additive to become saturated with moisture when it was used to make the inflators.
Honda will recall around one million older vehicles for a second time because the driver's air bag inflators previously installed could be risky.
At least 15 drivers and passengers in the US have died and more than 250 people have been injured because of the airbag inflators, NHTSA says.
Documents posted Monday by Canadian safety regulators show that Honda is recalling many of its most popular models for a second time. The defect eventually spurred the recall of 37 million vehicles by 19 automakers. As many as 70 million will be recalled.
A driver in Maryland was injured in a January crash when a 2004 Honda Odyssey driver-side air bag inflator, made by the now-defunct Takata Corp., ruptured, Honda said in a statement. Also covered are Acura luxury models including the MDX from 2003 through 2006, the EL from 2001 through 2005, the TL from 2002 and 2003 and the CL from 2003.
Of the 23 total deaths worldwide linked to faulty Takata airbags, 21 have occurred in Honda vehicles.
Under the terms of an agreement with the agency, Takata has until the end of this year to prove that inflators with the moisture-absorbing chemical are safe or they all will have to be recalled. Owners will be instructed to take their vehicle to a dealer to have the driver-front airbag inflator replaced.