None — Honda Motors says it has just begun an investigation into a Georgia case of airbags exploding for no reason.
Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland found the latest victim Monday afternoon in Forsyth County.
"I was driving just as I am now. An explosion," Chris Androvic, 26, said from behind the wheel of his 2008 Honda Accord coupe. "I was in the middle lane going 60 to 65 miles per hour, and all of a sudden my airbags went off."
Androvic said his car shows no sign of a crash or any type of side impact. But inexplicably, the bags above his head and in his seat deployed. He said the bags draped over the side windows, cutting visibility.
Androvic also complains he lost hearing for a time.
"Thank God no one was hurt or even killed, but this isn't the first case of this," Androvic said.
Strickland searched federal safety records through safercar.gov. He looked specifically for side airbag complaints involving 2008 Honda Accords and found about a dozen of them. That's the same number of incidents Honda said prompted its recall last year of driver's side airbags that deploy too forcefully.
“I'm furious," Androvic said. "They gave me a bill for $5,600 and told me, basically, it’s on you."
As for side bags that deploy without warning, Strickland said he found no recall.
Honda sent Strickland a statement about the incident. They said, “Neither NHTSA or Honda have initiated any recall action.
“Customarily, a recall would be initiated only when a defect has been observed in many cases, and either NHTSA or Honda are able to find evidence of such in a fair number of documented cases.
“Here… each of these airbag deployment accounts has not been linked to a common condition or defect.
“Of course, we very carefully monitor all consumer concerns and will continue to do so in this instance.”
The NHTSA sent Strickland another statement saying, “NHTSA is aware of the complaints involving side curtain airbags in certain Honda vehicles and there is no formal investigation open at this time. While there have been no injuries, fatalities or fires associated with these complaints, the agency is continuing to monitor the issue. When considering whether to open an investigation, NHTSA takes into account the severity as well as the frequency of an occurrence – there is no pre-set number of complaints that would trigger an investigation.”
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