Drivers of more than 2 million cars and SUVs may be feeling deja vu after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Saturday that a previous recall’s remedy for faulty air bags is still not working as designed.
The current recall affects the 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty, 2002-2004 Grand Cherokee, 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey, 2003 Acura MDX and 2003-2004 Pontiac Vibe, Dodge Viper, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix and Toyota Avalon.
Drivers of affected vehicles should visit their dealer, the statement said.
These vehicles were all subject to recalls between 2012 and 2014 for problems with an electronic component that caused some air bags to deploy inadvertently. Although the manufacturers’ fix has worked in most cases, the NHTSA said in the statement that about 40 air bags have deployed despite the fix.
“Keeping the traveling public safe is our No. 1 priority, and we expect the manufacturers to get this remedy right to prevent injury to drivers and their families,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.
About 1 million Toyotas and Hondas involved in these recalls are also subject to a separate recall of defective Takata Corp. air bags, which can deploy with enough explosive force to cause injury or death, according to the NHTSA statement.
The announcement Saturday comes two days after Honda said the Jan. 18 death of a Houston driver could be linked to the faulty air bags, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in the U.S. and abroad from such incidents to at least five.
NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in the statement that the issue could seem like a “hassle,” since drivers may have to go back to their dealer more than once.
“But this is an urgent safety issue,” he said. “Even though it’s a temporary solution until the new remedy is available, they and their families will be safer if they take the time to learn if their vehicle is covered and follow their manufacturers’ instructions.”
To see if your vehicle is part of the recall, enter its vehicle identification number, or VIN, at safercar.gov/vin. Affected drivers may also receive a letter in the mail from their car’s manufacturer.
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