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Honda recalls 750,000 vehicles over air bag flaw

Cars sit on the lot at a Honda dealership on March 25, 2021, in Elgin, Ill. Many 2020 to 2022 models are affected by a new recall.
Scott Olson
Getty Images
Cars sit on the lot at a Honda dealership on March 25, 2021, in Elgin, Ill. Many 2020 to 2022 models are affected by a new recall.

Honda is recalling more than 750,000 cars, SUVs, minivans and pickups over a defect that causes air bags to deploy when they should not.

The recall includes models of the Honda Civic, Accord, CR-V, Fit, HR-V, Insight, Odyssey, Pilot, Passport, Ridgeline, as well as the Acura MDX, RDX and TLX, from model years between 2020 and 2022.

Acura is owned by Honda.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that because of the flaw, frontal and knee air bags could deploy in a crash when deployment should not happen. It could cause injuries to infants in car seats, children, and anyone smaller than 4 feet 11 inches, the agency said.

The specific defect is that a "capacitor in the printed circuit board of the front passenger seat weight sensor may crack and lead to an internal short circuit from the exposure to environmental humidity," NHTSA said in a report dated Monday.

The circuit board problem originated with a supplier that switched the base material of the board because of a natural disaster, according to the agency.

Honda has had no reports of injuries or deaths related to the problem as of Jan. 19.

The specific vehicles affected are:

  • 2020-2022 Honda Accord
  • 2020-2021 Honda Accord Hybrid
  • 2020 Honda Civic 2-door
  • 2020-2022 Honda Civic 4-door
  • 2021-2022 Honda Civic hatchback
  • 2021 Honda Civic Type R
  • 2020-2021 Honda CR-V
  • 2020-2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid
  • 2020 Honda Fit
  • 2020-2022 Honda HR-V
  • 2021 Honda Insight
  • 2020-2022 Honda Odyssey
  • 2020-2022 Honda Pilot
  • 2020-2021 Honda Passport
  • 2020-2021 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2020 Acura MDX
  • 2022 Acura MDX
  • 2020-2022 Acura RDX
  • 2020-2021 Acura TLX

Affected owners should start to get notifications on March 18 and can take cars to Honda and Acura dealers for replacement of the faulty part. Only 1% of the 750,000 recalled vehicles are likely to have the defect, NHTSA said.

Honda recalled millions of vehicles in 2023 over various issues: a fuel pump defect; a missing seat belt part; an engine crankshaft manufacturing error; a problem with side-view mirrors; and another seat belt issue.

Last week, Toyota warned that 50,000 U.S. vehicles need immediate repairs because of a faulty air bag inflator that could explode. Last year, BMW issued a recall over dangers associated with air bags. Both relate to the massive Takata air bag recall, which involves cars made as far back as the early 2000s and affects 67 million air bags and at least 19 vehicle manufacturers.

Separately, in December, Toyota recalled 1 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles because of a problem with sensors in the front passenger seat that would cause air bags to not deploy properly.

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James Doubek is an associate editor and reporter for NPR. He frequently covers breaking news for and NPR's hourly newscast. In 2018, he reported feature stories for NPR's business desk on topics including electric scooters, cryptocurrency, and small business owners who lost out when Amazon made a deal with Apple.