Dangerous Air Bags Made By Continental Being Recalled
Detroit February 4, 2016; David Shepardson in Washington and Bernie Woodall in Detroit writing for Reuters reported that Continental Automotive Systems said Today it supplied potentially defective air bag control units to 5 million vehicles used by Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, and three other manufacturers built over a five-year period worldwide, widening an air bag safety crisis.Continental Automotive, a unit of Germany-based Continental AG (CONG.DE), told the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that electronic systems built from 2006 through 2010 and used in 5 million vehicles may fail and air bags may not deploy in a crash or may inadvertently deploy without warning.
Continental spokeswoman Mary Arraf said Thursday the recall involved between 1.5 million and 2 million vehicles in the United States.
Honda Motor Co said late Wednesday it is recalling 341,000 Accord cars from model years 2008-2010 to replace control units linked to failures in Continental systems. At least two injuries are attributed to the defect.
Honda said it has received 1,575 warranty claims, 83 field reports and 2 confirmed injuries related to the defect. It also said there have been 74 injury allegations related to airbags that did not deploy but those aren't confirmed.
In one case, a parent in Belleview, Florida, filed a complaint that their son was injured driving their 2008 Accord last March after he "ran into a concrete block wall at about 50 mph" and the airbags failed to deploy, according to NHTSA records.
On Thursday, Fiat Chrysler said it is recalling 112,000 U.S. vehicles for the same issue, including the 2009 Dodge Journey, 2008-2009 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country and 2009 Volkswagen Routan that it had assembled for the German automaker.
Fiat Chrysler has reports of as many as 25 inadvertent air bag deployments.
Continental told the NHTSA the callback would also involve vehicles built by Volvo Trucks North America and Mazda Motor Corp.
A Mazda spokeswoman said the automaker was aware of Continental's recall and investigating.
A VW spokesman said the company did not known how many Chrysler-built Routan minivans are involved.
The other vehicle makers could not be reached immediately.
This is the latest large-scale U.S. recall related to air bag problems. To date, 14 automakers have recalled about 25 million vehicles for air bag inflators made by Takata Corp that could rupture, emitting potentially deadly metal fragments.
The NHTSA said tens of millions of other vehicles with Takata airbags will likely need to be recalled eventually.
The latest Continental recall developed over years, according to documents filed with U.S. regulators.
In documents posted Thursday with U.S. regulators, Continental said it received a control unit from Daimler in January 2008 after a vehicle owner complained the airbag warning light had illuminated. An investigation found a problem with the control unit that led to a design change in a semiconductor in 2008.
Continental said it built 3 million units from 2006 until the design change and 2 million after it that are covered by the recall. Continental said it did not receive any complaints after another change was made at the end of 2010 and completed in 2011.
NHTSA opened an investigation in August 2015 after a complaint of a crash in a 2008 Accord in which the air bags did not deploy.
In October, Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz USA unit recalled 126,000 C-Class sedans from model years 2008 and 2009 and certain 2010 Mercedes Benz GLK-Class vehicles to address the issue.
Editing for Reuters by Susan Heavey and Jeffrey BenkoeNHTSA RECALL DETAILS
RECALL Subject : Air Bag Control Unit Power Supply Corrosion
Report Receipt Date: FEB 02, 2016
NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V056000Component(s): AIR BAGS Report Receipt Date: FEB 02, 2016
NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V056000
Component(s): AIR BAGS
Manufacturer: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)
SUMMARY: American Honda Motor Company, Inc. (Honda) is recalling certain model year 2008-2010 Accord vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the air bag control units may corrode and fail.
CONSEQUENCE: If the air bag control unit fails, the air bags may not deploy in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of occupant injury.
REMEDY: Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the air bag control units, free of charge. Parts are expected to be available in Fall 2016. Interim notifications will be mailed to owners beginning on March 15, 2016, and a second notice will be mailed when remedy parts are available. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-800-999-1009. Honda's number for this recall is JW9.
NOTES: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.