Honda Motors has started an investigation into a Georgia case of airbags exploding for no reason. A Georgia man, Chris Androvic, says he was driving his Honda when what he described as an “explosion” occurred from behind the wheel of his 2008 Honda Accord coupe. He was going about 65 miles per hour at the time, when all of a sudden his airbags deployed. Androvic said his car shows no sign of a crash or any type of side impact. But inexplicably, the bags above his head and in his seat deployed. He said the bags draped over the side windows, cutting his visibility. Fortunately, he was able to stop his vehicle without further incident.
According to a report by WSBTV, there have been 12 side airbag complaints involving 2008 Honda Accords. That’s the same number of incidents Honda said prompted its recall last year of driver’s side airbags that deploy too forcefully. You can check federal safety records through www.safercar.gov.
According to WSBTV, the dealer billed the owner for $5,600 to repair the airbag system. There has been no recall for side bags that deploy without warning to my knowledge. Honda sent WSBTV a statement about the incident. It said that neither NHTSA nor Honda have initiated any recall action and that a recall would be initiated only when a defect has been observed in a sufficient number of cases. The statement said further that neither NHTSA nor Honda has been able to find evidence of a defect in a fair number of documented cases. Honda said that none of “these airbag deployment accounts“ have been linked to a “common condition or defect.” Subsequently, NHTSA sent WSBTV another statement saying, “NHTSA is aware of the complaints involving side curtain airbags in certain Honda vehicles and there is no formal investigation open at this time.”
NHTSA said that while there have been no injuries, fatalities or fires associated with these complaints, the agency continues to monitor the issue. When considering whether to open an investigation, NHTSA said it takes into account “the severity as well as the frequency of an occurrence,” but there is “no pre-set number of complaints that would trigger an investigation.” It was reported that Honda representatives have agreed to inspect Mr. Androvic’s car. Honda is providing a rental vehicle while the inspection takes place. Jim Strickland, a consumer investigative reporter at WSBTV, has been on top of this story and has developed a great deal of interesting information.
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