Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center ® has become aware of a major automotive recall regarding automotive airbags, and this one will bring recalls of up to 5 million vehicles worldwide. Continental Automotive Systems says in documents filed with the U.S. government that moisture can get inside its airbag control computers, causing the power supplies to corrode and fail. If that happens, airbags may not inflate in a crash or they could deploy without a crash.
The documents, posted Thursday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, say Continental will notify automakers, who will recall cars dating as far back as 2006.Already Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen and Mercedes have issued recalls, and some unidentified Kia, Mazda and Volvo Truck vehicles are included. Continental says less than 2 million of the affected vehicles are in the U.S. Automakers will replace the computers at no cost to owners, according to documents. Honda reported two injuries from the problem.
The announcement comes in the middle of a crisis involving Takata Corp. airbag inflators. About 24 million U.S. vehicles are being recalled for that problem, which is the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. Takata’s inflators can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister and sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. At least 11 people have died worldwide from the problem, and 139 injured. In the documents, Continental says its problem first surfaced in January of 2008 when it analyzed a malfunctioning control unit that was removed from a Mercedes. The company continued to investigate, and in early 2011, Continental was told of two inadvertent airbag deployments in Mercedes and Fiat Chrysler vehicles.
Last year, Honda reported two malfunctions in crashes involving 2008 Accords, and U.S. safety regulators began investigating, according to the documents. Continental said it knows of more than 600 parts that were returned due to the problem. Honda said it would recall 364,787 2008 to 2010 Accord sedans worldwide because of the issue. The company says the airbags may not inflate in a crash. Honda said it has two reports of people being hurt because the airbags didn’t deploy. Fiat Chrysler announced the recall of 112,000 2009 Dodge Journeys and 2008 and 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans for the same problem. The Fiat Chrysler recall also includes the 2009 Volkswagen Routan minivan, which was made by FCA. Last year, Mercedes recalled 126,260 C-Class cars from 2008 and 2009 and 2010 GLK350 vehicles.
The U.S. safety investigation began in August after NHTSA found 19 complaints from drivers that airbags didn’t inflate in crashes of older Honda Accords. A driver in Belleview, Florida, was injured when his car hit a concrete wall at 50 miles per hour and the air bags didn’t inflate, according to one complaint. Several others said the computer had to be replaced and they were charged around $500. Continental says any malfunction will cause the airbag control computer to shut down, and that will trigger a dashboard warning light. Honda said it would notify owners about the problem, but repair parts won’t be available until fall. Drivers with an activated supplemental restraint system light should visit a dealer for a repair from the parts on hand, the company said.
If you have a question regarding your vehicle’s airbag safety or any problems with your vehicle, you should call the experienced lemon law attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center ®. Our lemon law attorneys will take time to talk to you about your rights and will let you know if they can help. Visit www.YOURLEMONLAWRIGHTS.com or call 1-800-US-LEMON to submit your information to see if we can help.