Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Technical details behind the Honda airbag recall

A number of manufacturers have recently issued urgent recalls for their vehicle's airbags. Here are the technical details for the background to those recalls.   

Basically, Honda is one of the manufacturers who source their airbags from Takata. One of our insiders sums it up very precisely in our TOV/TOVA forums :

"Takata uses ammonium nitrate, which is an explosive, in their airbags.

The problem with ammonium nitrate is it is very volatile and highly sensitive to moisture and even to air over time. So to use it,the manufacturing process must be under a good control in a clean room.

But to keep prices down and profits up Takata moved production to Mexico and the US from Japan only and in the last 10 years lost control of the production process at their factories.
For more details, visit the following two links. Please note that not all the facts in both articles have been totally verified so it might be worthwhile to do more research is you are interested to know more.

A couple of key extracts from these two reports:

"The problems have been twofold: Problems with moisture and problems with record-keeping. Initially, moisture due to improper storage at the factory was believed to degrade the inflators causing them to explode, spraying pieces of metal into the cabin.

Meanwhile, faulty recording keeping by Takata has forced automakers to widen the 2013 recalls to cover vehicles that might have inadvertently received faulty propellant." 

So we urge all affected Honda enthusiasts to attend to the recall as soon as possible. However, we also hope that no-one will blow this issue all out of proportion.

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