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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Media Contact: Brandy Brubaker
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6834

Thousands of Virginia Vehicle Owners at Risk from Faulty Airbags
Takata Recalls Millions of Hondas and Acuras Across Country

RICHMOND – Thousands of Virginians have a vehicle under recall for a defective airbag that has caused 11 U.S. deaths and many serious injuries. Nearly 70 million Takata brand airbag inflators in about 42 million vehicles are or will be under recall in the United States by 2019. Over time, the airbag inflators in some vehicles malfunctioned in fluctuating temperatures, moisture and humidity. Even a minor fender bender may cause these airbag inflators to rupture, spraying metal into the vehicle, causing injury or death to drivers and passengers.

The recall includes vehicles made by more than a dozen automakers, however, certain Hondas and Acura models listed below pose the most urgent threat with up to a 50-percent chance of rupture. About 1,400 of these vehicles are registered in the Richmond area, 1,500 in Tidewater, and 9,000 in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

All vehicle owners are strongly encouraged to go to Safercar.gov and enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to check for any recalls. Virginia DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative, warned that, if the airbag has been recalled, “The only place they should be driving this vehicle is to get it repaired.” A vehicle’s 17-digit VIN is located on the lower, left side of the windshield, the driver’s door jamb and the vehicle’s registration card issued by DMV. If a vehicle is recalled, that vehicle’s dealership will repair it at no cost to the owner.

While visiting Safercar.gov, vehicle owners are encouraged to sign up for email alerts in case of a recall in the future. A recall happens when a manufacturer or NHTSA determines that a vehicle, equipment, car seat or tire poses a safety risk.

“We are deeply committed to ensuring the highest standards of safety on our roadways, and most importantly, protecting the health and well-being of our Virginia vehicle owners,” Holcomb said. “Thousands of your fellow neighbors, friends, colleagues and family members could be driving a potentially dangerous vehicle and not even know it. Please tell them to check for recalls.”

The vehicles that pose the greatest, immediate risk include:

  • 2001-02 Honda Accord
  • 2001-02 Honda Civic
  • 2003 Honda Pilot
  • 2002-03 Acura TL/CL
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
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