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2.8 million vehicles under airbag recall

Kentucky residents may be relieved to hear that they are not located in a region where high absolute humidity affects the airbags in some Nissan, Mazda and Honda vehicles. On June 23, the three Japanese automakers issued recalls that involve at least 2.8 million vehicles together.

According to the recalls, the faulty airbags could explode in high absolute humidity states or regions. The product communications director for Nissan said that the recalls follow Takata Corp., the Japanese part supplier for the airbags, sending information to the companies about the issue. An American representative for Honda said that the defect may affect the front airbag inflators. The airbags might deploy with too much pressure, resulting in the inflator rupturing and causing injury to the drivers and front-seat passengers.

The affected vehicles are those sold in the Southern United States. Honda has issued three recalls for the issue and pinpoints that the continental states involved include Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Outside of the continental United States, vehicles in Hawaii could be at risk. Those sold and registered in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are also under recall.

Nissan has recalled 755,000 vehicles between model years 2001 and 2003 while Mazda has recalled almost 160,000 vehicles between model years 2002 and 2004. Honda estimates that more than 2 million vehicles could be involved in its recall. Takata Corp. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating the problem. In a statement, the company’s CEO said that six incidents in Puerto Rico and Florida prompted an assessment of the issue.

According to product liability laws, companies are held responsible when consumers are injured in accidents that involve their products but were not notified about the potential risks. While regulators could fine the companies for not issuing warnings or recalls, injured consumers could sue the companies to recover the cost of damages.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor, “Mazda, Honda, and Nissan recall 2.8 million vehicles for faulty airbags“, Ellen Meyers, June 23, 2014