Honda is issuing a Do Not Drive warning to the owners of certain older model recalled Acura and Honda vehicles equipped with recalled, and extremely dangerous Takata air bags. Owners are urged not to drive their vehicles until repairs are completed. Replacement parts are available and the repair is free.
Consumer Alert: Honda Upgrades Takata Alpha Recall to “Do Not Drive” Warning
Honda issued its “Do Not Drive” warning for select Honda and Acura models on February 3rd. Read Honda's statement here. It was also posted as a consumer alert by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
The warning applies to older vehicles with older - and therefore the most dangerous - Tatakta Alpha air bags that still haven't been repaired yet in the years-long recall effort. Specifically, we're talking about 2001-2003 Acura and Honda vehicles equipped with unrepaired Takata Alpha driver side air bag inflators. These vehicle's are now 20 to 22 years old now, and the NHTSA says the risk to vehicle occupants "is dire". The Alpha air bags are some of the oldest under recall, with a failure rate of 50%. If the inflators rupture, they can send metal fragments toward the driver’s face, resulting in death or devastating, life-altering injuries.
2002 Honda CR-V. Credit: Honda.
Models with Alpha air bags include:
2001-2002 Honda Accord
2001-2002 Honda Civic
2002 Honda CR-V
2002 Honda Odyssey
2003 Honda Pilot
2002-2003 Acura 3.2 TL
2003 Acura 3.2CL
2003 Acura 3.2 CL. Credit: Honda/Acura.
In its statement, Honda says it's replaced or accounted for over 99% of the Alpha driver's side inflators since the Alpha recall began in 2008. However, there are still roughly 8,200 Honda and Acura vehicles with the most dangerous Takata airbags that have not been repaired.
Honda says it's tried to reach owners more than 18.3 million total times. Contact methods include mailed notifications, emails, phone calls and even going door-to-door. Honda breaks down its efforts like this (approximate numbers given):
8.9 million mailed notifications to registered owners of affected vehicles (many in both English and Spanish)
5.4 million live and automated phone calls
2.3 million E-mails
916 thousand text and online messages
794,000 In-person canvassing visits seeking to locate individual, hard-to-reach owners
Newspaper and radio ads in English and Spanish
Targeted social media advertising
“We are proud of the unprecedented efforts of Honda associates to notify owners of these older model vehicles of the danger of these Takata Alpha inflators, but we cannot rest until we have repaired or accounted for every one of these vehicles,” said Steven Bailey, vice president of Parts, Service and Technical operations for American Honda. “While more than 99% of vehicle owners have heeded the many warnings to get the free repair, we’re concerned for the safety of those who have not responded and are now adopting the new Stop Driving messaging to spur them to act.”
Honda says its new “Stop Driving” messaging will be included in a new series of recall notices to motivate the remaining owners to take action as soon as possible.
The recall is free. You can check your vehicle for recalls here.
What to do if your Honda, Acura vehicle is on the list
In its release, the NHTSA says it's "absolutely critical that these remaining vehicle owners act now to protect themselves and their loved ones." The agency is urging vehicle owners to immediately check to see if their vehicle has an open Takata air bag recall. If it does, immediately stop driving it until this urgent recall is completed. Owners will need to contact their dealership or Acura/Honda customer service to schedule a FREE repair as soon as possible. Honda is also offering free towing and a free loaner car if needed.
“If you have a vehicle with a recalled Takata Alpha air bag, you must get it repaired now – for free. These inflators are two decades old now, and they pose a 50% chance of rupturing in even a minor crash. Don’t gamble with your life or the life of someone you love – schedule your free repair today before it’s too late,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson.
How to Contact Honda/Acura Customer Service
How to Check for Recalls
- Use NHTSA’s Recalls Lookup Tool to check your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for any open safety recalls, including the urgent Takata recall.
- Download our SaferCar app and let it check automatically for you.
- If your vehicle does have a safety recall, call your automaker’s local dealer to schedule the free recall repair.
- Sign up at NHTSA.gov/Alerts to be notified by email if your vehicle is affected by a future recall.
If you think your vehicle may have a safety defect that isn’t part of a current recall, contact NHTSA online or by calling the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time. For more information, visit NHTSA.gov/Recalls.