The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Older Vehicles Recalled Again for Air Bags

February 02, 2015

Photo of 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee by Sfoskett via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo of 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee by Sfoskett via Wikimedia Commons.

Federal safety regulators announced recall plans for more than 2.12 million vehicles manufactured in the early 2000s, because a defective TRW-made component might cause air bags to deploy inadvertently.

The cars and SUVs were subject to previous recalls, but the agreed-upon remedy that dealers used proved ineffective in some vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The new recalls will affect Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix and Toyota Avalon models.

NHTSA said it has identified about 40 vehicles in which air bags deployed unexpectedly after receiving the original remedy. The federal agency added that it is now seeking additional information from TRW Automotive about the potential defect, its causes and whether other makes or models might be affected. NHTSA is also asking automakers to estimate how quickly they can make the new remedy available to dealers so vehicle owners can schedule the repair.

Some of the vehicles are also part of the Takata air bag recalls, which further complicates the matter.

“Action by consumers is especially important because about 1 million Toyota and Honda vehicles involved in these new recalls are also subject to a recall related to defective Takata airbags that may deploy with enough explosive force to cause injury or even death to vehicle occupants,” NHTSA said in a released statement.

In the meantime, the original remedy is still better than no remedy at all, even if it’s a temporary fix that’s less than perfect.

“Because of the dangers involved in an inadvertent deployment, and because some of the vehicles involved may also have defective Takata airbags, NHTSA urges consumers who were covered by the original recalls to take their vehicles to their local dealer for the original remedy,” the agency said. “That remedy significantly reduces the chance of an airbag deployment that presents a safety risk.”

The new recalls will affect the following vehicles:

  • 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty and 2002-2004 Grand Cherokees (about 750,000 vehicles)
  • 2003-2004 Honda Odysseys and 2003 Acura MDXs (about 370,000 vehicles)
  • 2003-2004 Pontiac Vibes, Dodge Vipers, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrixes and Toyota Avalons (about 1 million vehicles, not all of which were sold in the U.S.).

For more information, click here.

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