Honda will voluntarily recall 515 model-year 2016 CR-V vehicles in the United States to replace the driver front airbag module, free of charge. Only thirty of these vehicles were sold to customers in the U.S. prior to dealer notification to stop sales of the affected vehicles. American Honda has already contacted all of these owners by phone to inform them of the issue and to offer free loaner vehicles until recall repairs can be completed. No injuries or market occurrences have been reported related to this issue, which involves a weakness in the airbag inflator casing that was discovered during inflator quality testing at the supplier, Takata.
A Takata driver’s front airbag inflator ruptured on October 10, 2015 during a Lot Acceptance Test (LAT) at a Takata plant in Monclova, Mexico. Inflators from this lot were being manufactured for installation in airbag modules intended for the 2016 Honda CR-V as original equipment in the U.S. and Canada. No injuries occurred as a result of the lot test rupture. After Takata notified Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on October 12, 2015, Honda initiated actions to trace airbag modules containing inflators from the same lot as the failed inflator so that affected parts and vehicles could be quarantined.
A total of 515 model-year 2016 Honda CR-V vehicles equipped with airbag modules containing inflators from the same manufacturing lot were shipped to dealers in the U.S., all of which will be subject to recall. Beyond the thirty vehicles sold before sales were halted, all remaining unsold vehicles are subject to a stop-sale order initiated by Honda and will not be sold to customers until recall repairs are completed.
Honda’s Service Engineering and Quality groups have been communicating with Takata and NHTSA about this incident. Takata is performing an ongoing investigation into the cause of the rupture. Takata’s preliminary analysis suggests that the rupture occurred as a result of a structural failure in the inflator casing, not as a result of a problem with the inflator propellant. As such, the defect in the airbag inflators of the affected CR-V vehicles does not appear to be similar to the defect in other Takata airbag inflators that have led to inflator ruptures in vehicles produced by Honda or other manufacturers. In those airbag inflators, the aging of the inflator propellant and exposure to high heat and high absolute humidity are believed to play a central role.