Honda warned dealers this week that they could be held liable if they sell a vehicle equipped with unrepaired Takata airbags and it explodes, injuring a passenger or driver in an accident. The warning comes as the carmaker issued a stop-sale for and once again expanded — by 1.7 million — the number of its vehicles affected by the ongoing safety device defect.
Automotive News reports that Honda sent a notice to U.S.-based dealers on Jan. 30 directing them to stop the sale of all new and used model year 2007 to 2015 vehicles equipped with potentially deadly Takata airbags that have been found to explode with enough force to send shrapnel flying at drivers and passengers.
The measure, which hasn’t yet been posted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, covers model year 2007 to 2011 CR-V crossover, 2011 to 2015 CR-Z coupe, 2009 to 2013 Fit, 2013 to 2014 Fit EV, 2010 to 2014 Insight hybrid, and the 2007 to 2014 Ridgeline.
According to the notice sent to dealers reported by Automotive News, the driver-side airbag inflators in the vehicles may experience “over-pressurization” due to exposure to high temperatures and high absolute humidity.
Repairs to the affected vehicles won’t be available until this summer, as parts are unavailable.
Honda also warned dealers in the notice that they would be responsible for claims stemming from any unrepaired vehicle sold.
“Should an unrepaired vehicle result in any claim because of the required recall repair, the dealership will be solely responsible to the claimant, and will be required to defend and indemnify American Honda for any resulting claims,” Honda said in the memo.
The order, which applies to Honda’s own dealerships, follows federal law that bars the sale of new vehicles with pending recalls. However, that measure doesn’t cover used vehicles, but it appears Honda is trying to distance itself for that liability, as well.
Honda warns dealerships of liability as it widens airbag recall [Automotive News]