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Hondas recalled amid airbag risk

Up to 1,000 local vehicles need to be checked for potentially defective airbags, although Bermuda’s Honda dealer stressed that no accidents had occurred on the Island.

Exploding airbags have affected a series of Honda and other models, leading to several deaths in the United States and the biggest recall of cars ever seen.

Details of Bermuda’s recall are supplied in an advertisement posted by Auto Solutions Ltd on page 40 of today’s Royal Gazette.

The company’s managing director, Glen Smith, said that while records showed 1,000 local cars could be affected, the dealership was not notified when models were junked for the airport landfill, meaning that the true number was probably not this high.

Airbags are set off by a powerful blast from a gas tube, and the faulty models have launched fragments of metal. Most affect the driver’s airbag but some passenger bags have also been found to be dangerous.

“Safety is our number one priority — we have had nothing in Bermuda whatsoever,” Mr Smith added.

“Honda is taking full responsibility, and sending us the inflators that can be used as replacements.

“Unfortunately, given the masses of cars, they can only give us so many per month, so it will take us time to get through it.”

The company is sending out letters to customers, as well as getting out the word online.

Honda owners can phone the dealership with their vehicle identification numbers to perform the check.

Mr Smith said the replacements could be carried out in a matter of hours.

“In the best case, it could be done in an hour to two hours; others could be four to six hours,” he said.

“Some might need to have the passenger airbag done as well as the driver’s.”

Airbags made by the Japanese company Takata have been faulted, affecting an estimated 34 million vehicles in the US and a further seven million worldwide.