It is getting pretty hard to come up with new Honda Airbag recall headlines. Honda has announced an airbag-related recall for 25,367 2015-2016 Fit LXs. Apparently, poorly manufactured rear grab handle brackets can puncture the side curtain airbags when they deploy. In short, you get hit, the side curtain airbags are supposed to protect you, but wait, they've been punctured by these brackets, so instead of a potentially life-saving airbag deploying, you may get a face full of broken glass.
Who makes this product?
Honda Motor Compnay.
Which products are affect?
25,367 2015-2016 Honda Fit LX models that do not have a sunroof are affected by the recall.
How widespread is the problem?
Compared to the over 19.2 million other vehicles recalled because of defective Takata airbags, this latest issue is just a drop in the bucket, unless you are one of the people who was injured because your punctured side curtain airbag did not deploy. In that case it is a pretty big problem. At this time there have been no reports or lawsuits due to injuries related to this issue.
What can be done?
At this time Honda is attempting to contact those who have purchased these vehicles to inform them of the recall. If you are unsure if the recall affects your vehicle, you can contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138 and the reference number for this recall is JV8. Repairs are expected to be on December 4th. In the meantime, I suppose you are stuck driving a car without proper airbag protection. If you have another vehicle, you can attempt to avoid using your Honda until then, but I imagine most owners do not have that luxury.
What this means.
Other than Honda and airbags go together like...(insert distasteful joke)? In all seriousness, this recall is unbelievable. If we were to believe Honda during the height of the Takata airbag recalls, the problem was with a supplier, not them. Even with the other Honda side-airbag recall, Honda could attempt to shift some of the blame to Bosch, who manufactured the malfunctioning sensors. Now they are saying the bracket is not manufactured properly. Geez, Honda's luck with suppliers lately is a lot like that crazy guy or gal we all know, the one who always seems to have the worst luck in relationships, but it's never their fault. You have to feel sorry people that. It's so unfair. Their terrible fortune never has anything to do with them, does it?
Car companies, rightly or wrongly are generally cut a lot of slack by the public. GM knew about their ignition switches for years and hid their way out of a large class-action suit, but 2014 was another year of record car sales for the company. That is a pretty impressive feat when your company has been linked to as many as 124 deaths due to the issue they hid. The point is that despite being synonymous with exploding airbags, airbags that don't deploy, and airbags that randomly deploy as you're driving down the highway, it's quite possible that long-term everyone forgives and forgets.
Of course, the people who will have a much harder time forgiving are those who have been injured because of airbag recalls like this one and the ones that came before it. Sure, people can spill a lot of ink talking about what the future holds for Honda, but for those injured by faulty airbags, the future can hold mounting medical bills, lost wages, even chronic injuries that impact the rest of their lives. Those are the people we tend to think about when we read something like this in the news. We hope that Honda gets its act together on airbags, not for their sake, but for the safety of those who suffer unnecessary injuries because of poorly made cars in the meantime.