Photo credit: NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put out an urgent bulletin today asking owners of various 2001-2003 Honda and Acura models equipped with potentially deadly Takata airbag inflators to have their car fixed immediately, as those models pose the highest risk to their occupants.

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If your car is on this list and you haven’t replaced your defective airbag yet, NHTSA wants you to take it in for repairs as soon as possible:

  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2003 Honda Pilot

New test data shows these cars have a subset of the defective Takata inflators that has a higher risk of rupturing in an airbag deployment than the others, hence the urgent call. The ruptured airbag inflators send high-speed shrapnel throughout the cabin in an accident, often resulting in injury and death.

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Inflators tested from these early 2000s Honda and Acura models had a rupture rate as high as 50 percent in laboratory tests.

NHTSA and Honda are also urging the general public to seek out and find the unrepaired vehicles, as they believe there is a high number of unrepaired vehicles still on the road. Per NHTSA’s press release:

The vehicles in question were recalled between 2008 and 2011. Honda has reported that more than 70 percent of this higher-risk population of vehicles has already been repaired, but approximately 313,000 vehicles with this very dangerous defect remain unrepaired. The risk posed by the airbag inflators in these vehicles is grave, and it is critical they be repaired now to avoid more deaths and serious injuries.

Defective inflators from cars in high-humidity climates such as that of the Gulf Coast are at the highest risk of rupturing in an accident, but really? No matter where your car resides, stop putting off the replacement of an actual shrapnel bomb under the dashboard. Stop driving the car. Take it to the dealership for the recall already.

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Nearly 70 million defective Takata airbag inflators will be under recall by 2019, NHTSA’s latest figures say.