Feds Upgrade Probe Into 2008 Honda Accord for Inadvertent Side Airbag Deployment | Edmunds

Feds Upgrade Probe Into 2008 Honda Accord for Inadvertent Side Airbag Deployment


Just the Facts:
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is upgrading an investigation into 335,195 2008 Honda Accord sedans after 293 incidents of alleged inadvertent deployment of the side airbags.
  • "Fourteen people allegedly suffered injuries caused by the deploying airbags," NHTSA said in its summary of the upgraded probe.
  • Federal safety regulators have opened what is called an engineering analysis to determine, "among other things, the risk of airbag deployment injuries to vehicle users in vulnerable positions."

WASHINGTON The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is upgrading an investigation into 335,195 2008 Honda Accord sedans after 293 incidents of alleged inadvertent deployment of the side airbags, the agency said in a posting on its Web site on Friday.

"Fourteen people allegedly suffered injuries caused by the deploying airbags," NHTSA said in its summary of the upgraded probe.

The consumer complaints allege that the airbags deployed after the car doors were shut.

Federal safety regulators have opened what is called an engineering analysis to determine, "among other things, the risk of airbag deployment injuries to vehicle users in vulnerable positions."

A preliminary probe into the 2008 Accord was opened earlier this year. The 2008 Accord has not been recalled at this point.

One complaint posted on the NHTSA Web site on July 8, 2014 by an unidentified 2008 Accord owner reported: "My husband and I, along with my two daughters, got in our 2008 Honda Accord on Monday afternoon. My husband was the last one in. He got in the front passenger's side seat and when he shut the door the side airbags deployed!

"My older daughter was in the seat behind him and when the airbags deployed, (they) hit her in the face, causing burn marks on her face and neck and also she has some loss of hearing in her right ear and a constant ringing in her ear!"

The consumer said American Honda told her to drive the car to the local Honda dealership for them to run tests on the car.

American Honda did not respond immediately to a query from Edmunds asking about the upgraded investigation. But earlier this year, the automaker said it was cooperating with NHTSA, as well as conducting its own internal review.

"This investigation has revealed that when the driver or front passenger door is shut, the driver-side or passenger-side side curtain airbag can deploy, and in some cases, the side seat-mounted torso airbag can deploy as well," NHTSA said in its new summary of the probe.

Federal safety investigators said that in June 2008, Honda changed the crash parameter for door-closing force, which is embedded in the electronic control unit's software code, in order to reduce the incidents of the inadvertent side airbag deployments.

The software design change was made on June 5, 2008 for the Accords built in the U.S.
NHTSA "found the number of the inadvertent deployment incidents decline significantly for the vehicles with the new crash parameter setting, i.e., the late-built 2008 vehicles and all 2009 vehicles."

The 2008 Honda Accord coupe uses a different software-crash parameter from the sedan.

Edmunds says: It's still a waiting game for consumers as federal safety regulators continue their work. But if you own a 2008 Honda Accord sedan and have any concerns, it's best to get in touch with your dealership.

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