The massive Takata Airbag recall has made its way to the two-wheeled realm, with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adding 2,701 Honda Gold Wings to the millions of vehicles already included in recall. The recall now includes airbag inflators on certain Gold Wings from model years 2006 to 2010.
The airbag issues first came up in 2008 but it wasn’t into 2014 that NHTSA began probing the extent of the problem. The investigation identified problems with the Takata-produced airbag inflator potentially rupturing in a crash, effectively becoming metal shrapnel propelled by the inflation of the airbag. To date, the recall has affected about 78 million airbag inflators installed on vehicles from 14 different manufacturers. NHTSA has tied the problem to 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries in the U.S.
According to NHTSA, airbags using ammonium nitrate-based propellent wafers lacking a chemical drying agent may be degraded by environmental moisture, high temperatures and age. This may cause the an over-aggressive combustion when the airbags are activated, creating excessive internal pressure to the inflator, causing the inflator body to rupture, sending metal fragments flying.
Honda dealers will replace the airbag modules on affected models. Unfortunately, the supply of parts may not be available until late summer or even the fall.