Are Honda Minivans Being Danger Tested?

Honda Motor Company (NYSE:HMC) is the next to join the list of automakers who have reported problems with faulty air bags. The Associated Press reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted documents on its website Monday that warn against the older model of the Honda Odyssey minivan. It has reportedly faced similar air bag problems as those 1.8 million vehicles recalled by Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM) and Chrysler Group LLC.

NHTSA has received six complains about the Odyssey’s air bags — whose computers were made by auto parts supplier TRW Automative Holdings Corp (NYSE:TRW) — inflating without crashes. Three of these six complaints have involved injuries, and 41 additional complaints reported the illumination of air bag warning lights.

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The minivans have not yet been recalled but U.S. safety regulators have added 320,000 of the vehicles to the probe of faulty air bags. These minivans from the 2003 and 2004 model years are capable of inflating without a crash, possibly injuring passengers and drivers.

Honda has been aware of an issue since back in December 2012 when the automaker assured the NHTSA that the rate of related problems with Honda vehicles was extremely low. It said it would handle the problem on a case-by-case basis.

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However, those cases have since risen and the recall of Chrysler and Toyota vehicles for the same problem has caused increased concern for Honda consumers. Chrysler was forced to recall more than 919,000 older Jeep Grand Cherokees, Liberty SUVs, and Dodge Viper muscle cars to fix the air bag problem. Toyota’s global recall of 907,000 vehicles was caused by the same problem. Air blags were improperly deflating due to a damaged chip in the part that controls the devices.

A Honda spokesman said a statement was being prepared.

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