Until today, automakers like Honda assured owners of cars affected by the Takata airbag recall that their vehicles likely wouldn't have shrapnel-filled airbag explosions if they lived in non-humid climates. Needless to say, that's not very reassuring. So today, after pressure from regulators, they'll be replacing all of them. If you ask.
The New York Times reports that Honda told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this month that they plan to replace all defective airbag inflaters in their cars nationwide, but only if it's done by customer request. I guess that's something?
Previously the airbag recall was limited to "areas of high absolute humidity" because they believe moisture helped cause the airbag detonations now linked to five deaths.
That's faulty logic for several reasons, including the fact that a car now registered in Utah may have previously lived in Florida, and that people can drive their cars across the country into different climates.
From the story:
"It is our practice to repair these vehicles outside of these regions at the request of concerned customers," Honda said in a response posted on the safety regulator's website.
"Additionally, we have a customer service procedure that addresses individual customer needs and concerns and encompasses, as appropriate, the replacement of airbag inflaters and the provision of or reimbursement for temporary alternative transportation," Honda said.
Now, here's the kicker. This still isn't a full nationwide recall. The airbag inflaters are only being replaced at the request of concerned customers. If you want it, they'll do it, but it won't be a mandatory thing as a full recall.
Meanwhile, NHTSA today called on Honda, BMW, Mazda, Chrysler, and a slew of other automakers to just issue a full damn nationwide recall on the cars already and just fix this, lest they be hit with "the full extent of its statutory powers." That means minor fines.
Here's a list of the cars currently affected by the Takata recall. Are you going to get your affected Honda fixed?