Air bag recall could affect thousands of drivers across Virginia, officials say

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is warning drivers about an air bag recall, which could affect thousands of vehicles across the state.

Nearly 70 million Takata brand air bag inflators in about 42 million vehicles are or will be under recall in the United States by 2019, according to a DMV news release. The air bags have caused 11 deaths nationwide, as well as several more injuries, officials said.

Fluctuating temperatures and moisture have caused the air bag inflators in some vehicles to malfunction, the release states. An incident such as a minor fender bender may cause the inflators to rupture and spray metal into the vehicle, causing injury or death to drivers and passengers, officials said.

The recall covers vehicles made by more than a dozen automakers, but certain Hondas and Acura models pose the most urgent threat, officials said. Those vehicles have up to a 50 percent chance of rupture.

About 1,400 of those vehicles are registered in the Richmond area, 1,500 in Tidewater, and 9,000 in northern Virginia and Washington D.C., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the release states. 

All vehicle owners are strongly encouraged to go to safercar.gov and enter their Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, to check for any recalls. The VIN can be found on the lower left side of the windshield, the driver’s door jamb and the vehicle’s registration card issued by the DMV. If a vehicle is recalled, that vehicle’s dealership will repair it at no cost to the owner, officials said.

“We are deeply committed to ensuring the highest standards of safety on our roadways, and most importantly, protecting the health and well-being of our Virginia vehicle owners,” Virginia DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb said in the release. “Thousands of your fellow neighbors, friends, colleagues and family members could be driving a potentially dangerous vehicle and not even know it. Please tell them to check for recalls.”

The vehicles that pose the greatest, immediate risk are:

  • 2001-02 Honda Accord
  • 2001-02 Honda Civic
  • 2003 Honda Pilot
  • 2002-03 Acura TL/CL
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
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