Car City Cayman has renewed its efforts to track down and replace faulty airbags that could be a ticking bomb in Honda and Acura vehicles, which were sold between 1996 and 2016.

“The Takata airbag recall is the largest automotive safety recall the industry has seen and it has affected more than just the Honda and Acura brands,” said senior marketing manager Julian Foster. “It’s estimated that nearly 100 million cars worldwide are affected.”

The cause behind the faulty airbags is the ammonium nitrate propellant which is used to inflate the airbags during a collision. It has been discovered that, over time, moisture, high temperatures and humidity degrades the ammonium nitrate.

Technicians from the US work on vehicles during Car City’s three-day airbag replacement event for Hondas and Acuras in 2019. – Photos: Taneos Ramsay

“In the event of an airbag deployment the airbag inflator may rupture,” said Foster. “Sharp metal fragments form the airbag explosions have severely injured and killed vehicle occupants.”

Foster said, so far, Car City Cayman has been able to track down and repair 60% of the vehicles which were sold between the relevant time period. However, “there is about 40% we’re unable to track down, which could be due to vehicles being written off or lost or destroyed during hurricane Ivan”.

The matter has been further complicated by thousands of used vehicles which have been imported over the years, many from Asian markets.

“With the continued importation of second-hand vehicles, it’s impossible for dealers to know how many vehicles on island are affected, or who the owners are to contact them should their vehicle be affected,” said Foster who added that faulty airbags would be changed for free, event if the car was not purchased from Car City.

Honda technician Paul Martin works to replace the airbag inflator on a Honda Pilot.

The airbag recall has been ongoing since 2019. At the time of the initial recall, Honda technicians visited Cayman where it was believed that at least 4,000 vehicles were in need of the replacements.

For more information on how to check if your vehicle needs its airbag replaced, visit https://www.carcity.ky/recalls.

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