Honda drivers warned about air bags

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Honda Civic is among the recalled models. (Photo: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON — Federal safety regulators warned owners of more than 300,000 Hondas and Acuras that they should not drive their cars until their Takata air bags are replaced.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said new tests show these air bags have a much higher risk of exploding and killing a driver or passenger. The risk for these particular cars is now greater than 50 percent, according to the agency. Other Takata airbags have less than a 1 percent chance of exploding.

“The risk posed by the air bag inflators in these vehicles is grave, and it is critical they be repaired now to avoid more deaths and serious injuries,” the agency’s statement said.

There have been 10 U.S. deaths tied to exploding Takata air bags. Eight of those deaths were in cars that had this specific air bag.

This group of cars is a small subset of cars with Takata air bags that have been already recalled. Nearly 70 million air bags in U.S. cars have been or will be recalled, according to the agency. It will take until 2019 to replace these air bags because not all of the replacement parts are immediately available.

But NHTSA said Honda has the replacement parts to fix all of the 300,000 high-risk cars covered by this alert.

The models identified by NHTSA include: 2001-2002 Honda Civic, 2001-2002 Honda Accord, 2002-2003 Acura TL, 2002 Honda CR-V, 2002 Honda Odyssey, 2003 Acura CL, 2003 Honda Pilot.

The NHTSA provided a page for drivers to check the specific VIN of the vehicles that should not be driven.

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