Honda Motor Co announced a recall affecting 750,000 vehicles in the United States due to a potential issue with the airbag system. Specifically, there is a concern that the front passenger seat weight sensor may crack and short circuit, which could result in the airbag deploying unintentionally during a crash. This defect, identified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), poses a safety risk as it may fail to suppress the airbag as intended.
The models affected by the recall include certain Honda Pilot, Accord, and Civic vehicles from the 2020-2022 model years, as well as some Honda CR-V and Passport vehicles from the 2020 and 2021 model years. Honda has reported 3,834 warranty claims related to this issue but assures that there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities associated with it since June 2020.
In their statement to the NHTSA, Honda provided insight into the potential cause of the defect. They explained that a temporary change in the base material of the printed circuit board of the seat weight sensor was made by a supplier after a natural disaster impacted the manufacturing plant of a subcontractor. This alteration in material composition may have introduced additional strain to the printed circuit board, leading to the identified issue.
This recall is part of a broader trend within the automotive industry regarding safety concerns. In December, Toyota Motor recalled 1.12 million vehicles worldwide due to a similar issue where a short circuit in a sensor could compromise the proper deployment of airbags. Additionally, Honda itself recalled 4.5 million vehicles worldwide in December, including 2.54 million in the United States, due to risks associated with fuel pump failure.