Honda Recalls Almost 1 Million Vehicles Over Defective Airbags

Honda is recalling more than 750,000 cars, SUVs, minivans and pickups over a defect that causes air bags to deploy when they should not.

Honda’s Recall Effects Buyers In a Big Way

Honda is recalling vehicles manufactured between 2020 and 2022, and says that a weight sensor, which is meant to disable the passenger airbags if the seat is occupied by a child or child seat, might not work properly, allowing the airbags to deploy during a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that because of the flaw, frontal and knee air bags could deploy in a crash when deployment should not happen. It could cause injuries to infants in car seats, children, and anyone smaller than 4 feet 11 inches, the agency said.

The specific defect is that a “capacitor in the printed circuit board of the front passenger seat weight sensor may crack and lead to an internal short circuit from the exposure to environmental humidity,” NHTSA said in a report dated Monday.

Exposure to humidity can cause a capacitor in the sensor to crack and leak, making it inoperable. The problem has been traced to a change in the base material for the sensor’s printed circuit board—Honda’s tier 1 supplier made the change when a natural disaster disrupted production at the tier 2 supplier that normally provided the base material.

The changed circuit board was not properly verified and “could allow additional strain to the printed circuit board that can lead to a capacitor cracking and an internal short circuit.”

A warranty claim in August 2020 was Honda’s first inkling that it had a problem.

Initial investigations turned up little, but the automaker kept receiving warranty claims and, in January 2024, decided to issue a recall. In total, it says it has had 3,834 warranty claims for this issue between June 2020 and January 2024.

The specific vehicles affected are:

  • 2020-2022 Honda Accord
  • 2020-2021 Honda Accord Hybrid
  • 2020 Honda Civic 2-door
  • 2020-2022 Honda Civic 4-door
  • 2021-2022 Honda Civic hatchback
  • 2021 Honda Civic Type R
  • 2020-2021 Honda CR-V
  • 2020-2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid
  • 2020 Honda Fit
  • 2020-2022 Honda HR-V
  • 2021 Honda Insight
  • 2020-2022 Honda Odyssey
  • 2020-2022 Honda Pilot
  • 2020-2021 Honda Passport
  • 2020-2021 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2020 Acura MDX
  • 2022 Acura MDX
  • 2020-2022 Acura RDX
  • 2020-2021 Acura TLX

Owners will be notified starting March 18. Honda says in documents that it has 3,834 warranty claims but no reports of injuries or deaths from the problem between June 30, 2020 and Jan. 19 of this year.

Acura is owned by Honda.

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