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Honda will replace potentially defective airbag inflaters in cars nationwide, according to statements the automaker gave federal safety regulators earlier this month. In doing so, it bows to pressure from lawmakers and auto safety experts who had questioned automakers’ limiting of the latest airbag recalls to high-humidity regions.
Honda will also offer loaner cars “as appropriate,” the automaker said in a Nov. 6 response to regulators’ questions on the recalled airbags, which are made by the Takata Corporation. The Japanese automaker previously said that it was limiting certain recalls to cars sold or ever registered in areas of “high absolute humidity,” because moisture is thought to play a role in the defect.
Defective airbags can explode violently when they deploy in an accident, sending shrapnel into the car’s cabin toward the driver and passengers. Five deaths and dozens of injuries have been linked to the defect in airbags manufactured at Takata’s plants in the United States and Mexico, which have affected cars from 11 automakers.
Honda and Takata, together with other automakers and safety regulators, have been called to testify at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on Thursday.
Scheduled to attend are executives from Honda and Chrysler, as well as David J. Friedman, the deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Takata said Tuesday that Hiroshi...