Honda is recalling more than 1 million vehicles, replacing defective air-bag inflaters it installed in connection with the biggest safety recall in U.S. history, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday. The move was prompted by a January crash that injured the driver of a 2004 Honda minivan in Maryland.
Takata air bags have been the subject of recalls since 2008 and are linked to at least 23 deaths. The devices relied on ammonium nitrate to trigger a small explosion to inflate them during a crash. But in some cars, the chemical burned too quickly, causing a blast powerful enough to spray shrapnel. The defect eventually spurred the recall of 37 million vehicles by 19 automakers.
The agency is urging the owners of 1.1 million Honda and Acura vehicles who have already had the air-bag inflater replaced or have received a new air bag to check whether their vehicle identification number is on the recall list. Honda and Acura dealers will make the repairs free, NHTSA said.
Honda did not respond to a request for comment.
Last year, Virginia, Maryland and the District were among 44 state governments to reach a $650 million settlement with the U.S. subsidiary of Takata. According to court documents, Takata was aware of air-bag failures as early as 2004 but did not notify car safety regulators that the products were defective. Millions of drivers have also settled a lawsuit with automakers that used the air bags. Takata filed for bankruptcy in the United States and Japan in 2017.
Models covered by Honda’s latest recall include the Honda Pilot from 2003 through 2008, the Civic from 2001 through 2005, and the Accord from 2001 to 2007 and the 2009 model year.