Faulty Air Bag Controls Spur New Series of Recalls

Image courtesy of NHTSA via YouTube.
Image courtesy of NHTSA via YouTube.

Continental Automotive Systems, a major automotive safety system supplier, is recalling defective air bag control units installed in an estimated 5 million vehicles from several different automakers.

The air bag control units have a power supply component that may corrode and lead to unit failure, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported. Continental manufactured these units from Jan. 1, 2006, to Dec. 31, 2010.

“If the air bag control unit fails, safety systems such as seat belt pretensioners and air bags may not deploy in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of occupant injury,” NHTSA said on its website. “Additionally, in some vehicles, the air bags may inadvertently deploy, increasing the risk of a crash.”

The affected automakers — including Honda and FCA US — will file vehicle recalls so the Continental-manufactured air bag control units can be replaced at dealerships.

In fact, Honda has already filed plans to recall 341,444 Accord cars in the 2008-2010 model years to address the problem. Replacement parts are expected to become available from Continental in the fall of this year.

Honda will mail interim notifications to the affected Accord owners beginning March 15. The second notice will be mailed when the new air bag control units are in the hands of dealers.

Similarly, FCA US is recalling 112,001 vehicles equipped with the faulty air bag control units. Included are 2009 Dodge Journey, 2008-2009 Dodge Grand Caravan, 2008-2009 Chrysler Town and Country, and 2009 Volkswagen Routan vehicles, according to NHTSA. (Chrysler manufactured the Routan minivans for Volkswagen.)

A few months ago, Mercedes-Benz USA recalled 126,260 vehicles for the same issue. More details about all the related recalls will be released soon.

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