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Honda recalls 750,000 vehicles for airbag defects

ImageL 2012 Honda Pilot Touring 4WD.
Recent versions of the Honda Pilot (shown here) and Odyssey are covered by the new airbag recall.Honda

After having the second-highest number of recalls for any maker operating in the U.S. market, Honda is getting off to a rough start for 2013, this time announcing it will recall nearly three-quarters of a million vehicles because missing rivets could case their driver’s side airbags to fail to properly deploy in the event of a crash.

The latest safety-related problem involves 748,000 of the maker’s popular Pilot crossover Odyssey minivan models. Another 29,000 of the vehicles sold in Canada are also covered. 

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The latest recall covers Honda Pilot models produced during the 2009 through 2013 model-years and Odyssey minivans from 2011 through 2013. Customers are being asked to take the vehicles to their dealers for inspection of the driver’s-side airbags and, if necessary, for repairs.It’s the latest in a series of problems Honda has had with airbags that have now resulted in the recall of several million vehicles in recent years.  That includes one problem in which airbags could inflate over-aggressively, causing shrapnel to fire into the passenger compartment.

According to a statement from Honda, “Driver's-side airbags in these vehicles potentially were assembled without some of the rivets that secure the airbag's plastic cover. If the rivets are missing, the airbag may not deploy properly, increasing the risk of injury in a crash. No crashes or injuries have been reported related to this issue.”  

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The maker says no crashes or injuries have been reported as a result of the problem.

It plans to notify owners in mid-February, though owners may contact the company by dialing 800-999-1009 and selecting option 4, or by going to

Honda has been facing an ongoing series of issues, including airbag and vehicle fire problems, that resulted in the maker having more vehicles called back for safety repairs than any other manufacturer in 2011. Last year, it came in second, with 3.9 million vehicles involved in safety campaigns, behind only Toyota, which itself recalled 5.3 million cars, trucks and crossovers. 

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The auto industry, on the whole, suffered a 4.5% increase in recalls last year, involving a total of 16.2 million vehicles, according to a preliminary study of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Toyota and Honda, brands normally identified with high quality and reliability, have collectively led the recall list for the last four years.