Honda issues warning for 8,200 US vehicles due to air bag issue

TORRANCE, California: Due to un-repaired Takata air bag inflators that can explode and unleash potentially deadly metal shrapnel inside vehicles, Honda has issued a "Do Not Drive" warning for 8,200 Acura and Honda vehicles in the US.

Various 2001-2003 model year Honda Accord, Civic CR-V and Odyssey, Pilot and Acura 3.2CL and 3.2 TL vehicles with so-called "Alpha" inflators are covered by the warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has warned that "the risk to vehicle occupants is dire," and encouraged owners of those vehicles to not drive them until they have been repaired.

The Takata air bag inflators are linked to more than 30 deaths worldwide since 2009, including 23 fatalities in the US.

In the largest auto safety callback in history, more than 67 million Takata air bag inflators have been recalled in the US by more than 20 automakers, as well as more than 100 million autos worldwide, over the past decade.

NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson stressed, "Do not gamble with your life or the life of someone you love, schedule your free repair today, before it is too late."

This week, Honda said it has sought to reach car owners more than 18.3 million times, including by mailed notifications, emails, phone calls and door-to-door visits.

"We are concerned for the safety of those who have not responded and are now adopting the new Stop Driving messaging to spur them to act," the Japanese automaker said.

The Takata malfunctions were caused by propellants that could break down after long-term exposure to high-temperature fluctuations and humidity, the NHTSA said.