The original airbag "fix" didn't work, now owners need to wait for the newest repair.

Posted in Recalls

The original airbag "fix" didn't work, now owners need to wait for the newest repair.

— Over 2.1 million vehicles are being recalled again in another airbag disaster. The vehicles have all been previously recalled for a problem where the airbags would deploy even without a crash. Roughly half of the vehicles are also involved in a different Takata recall that shoots shrapnel into the cabin when the airbags explode.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the original fix is ineffective since about 40 of the vehicles have had their airbags randomly deploy following the “repair” to remove the electrical noise that triggers deployment.

Each manufacturer has a different repair schedule and to be honest it’s all quite confusing. What looks to be certain, however, is most of the parts won’t be available for quite some time. NHTSA suggests if you haven’t had the initial recall repair done you should still do so while you wait for the newest fix. The agency says it’s imperfect, but better than doing nothing at all.

One Million Toyota Vehicles Affected

Toyota says over 1 million of its vehicles are affected by the electrical noise, including the 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix, the 2003-2004 Avalon and the 2003-2004 Pontiac Vibe. Toyota breaks down the manufacturing dates as the following:

  • 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla - Manufactured December 28, 2001, to May 2, 2004
  • 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix - Manufactured January 6, 2002, to April 29, 2004
  • 2003-2004 Avalon - Manufactured June 5, 2002, to December 20, 2004
  • 2003-2004 Pontiac Vibe - Manufactured January 18, 2002, to April 27, 2004

How the recall will play out can be confusing. First, Toyota vehicle owners will be contacted directly by Toyota. Owners of the Pontiac Vibe will be contacted by General Motors.

Dealers will replace the airbag control module, but the replacement parts are not available and probably won't be available until the end of 2015. However, there is a temporary fix available to some owners. Toyota says the temporary repairs might not fix the problem but it can reduce the risk of airbags deploying when they're not needed.

Toyota is urging all owners to have the temporary repairs performed when Toyota mails the notification letters. Those letters should be mailed in late March 2015. Toyota will then mail a second notification when the new airbag control modules are available.

Toyota owners can contact the automaker at 800-331-4331 and Pontiac Vibe owners can call GM at 800-620-7668.

(Read about the previous Toyota airbag recall)

Chrysler (now FCA US) Vehicles with Airbag Defect

FCA US (formerly Chrysler) has over 753,000 vehicles to repair to prevent the airbags from deploying anytime they want. FCA says the recalled vehicles include the 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty, 2002-2004 Jeep Cherokee and the 2003-2004 Dodge Viper.

Dealers will need to replace the airbag control module and possibly the front/side impact sensors. As with the other recalls, the replacement parts won't be available until late 2015, but a temporary fix is available.

Owners of the Jeep Liberty, Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Viper will receive notification letters in March 2015. With questions or concerns, contact FCA US customer service at 800-853-1403 and give them recall number R06.

(Read about the previous Chrysler airbag recall)

Honda Dealing with Electrical Noise Too

Another 374,000 vehicles will be recalled by Honda because of the same electrical noise. The affected models are the 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey and the 2003 Acura MDX.

Honda dealers will need to replace the airbag control unit, but as with the Toyota recall, Honda does not have the parts available but dealers can offer a temporary fix.

Honda says the real replacement parts won't be available until the end of 2015. Honda will send mailed notifications by the end of March 2015, but with questions, contact Honda at 800-999-1009. Honda's number for this recall is JN6 (Odyssey), and JN7 (MDX).

(Read about the previous Honda airbag recall)

Read owner-reported complaints about the vehicles named in the recalls:

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