NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2001 Honda Civic

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2001 Honda Civic, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. Air Bag Inflator Rupture NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA15001

    • Status:
      OPEN
    • Date Opened: February 24, 2015
    • Date Closed: Pending
    • Recall: possible recall

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016 four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016 four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The investigation now includes all manufacturers and vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA15001 »

  2. Air Bag Inflator Rupture NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14016

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with consistently high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly, ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016, four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016, four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The PE is now closed/upgraded to an Engineering Evaluation (EA15-001) to include all manufacturersand vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's EA investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The recalls related to this PE are: 14V343, 14V344, 14V348, 14V351, 14V353, 14V655, 14V700, 14V701, 14V752, 14V763, 14V770, 14V773, 14V787, 14V802 and 14V817.The number of vehicles affected are an estimate since some vehicles may have both the driver and passenger side inflators recalled. The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE14016 »

  3. RUPTURING DRIVER'S AIR BAG INFLATORS NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ09004

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: November 02, 2009
    • Date Closed: May 06, 2010
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal
    Air Bags:Frontal:Driver Side Inflator Module

    Summary: This RQ investigation was opened to collect and analyze additional information to better evaluate the scope and timeliness of Honda's two safety recalls addressing rupturing of the driver's side air bag inflators (08V-593 and 09V-259).In an earlier response to RMD's request for information, Honda indicated that the second recall (09V-259), essentially an expansion of the first (08V-593), was necessary since later information informed that the source of the defect was different than originally postulated, and so the scope of the vehicles affected changed. Honda indicated that it had relied on its supplier of the air bag inflators, Takata, Inc. (Takata), in studying the possible sources of the inflator ruptures and identifying the recall populations.Accordingly, RMD issued a request forinformation to Takata on November 20, 2009, and Takata provided a partial response on December 23, 2009.Takata then provided its complete response on February 19, 2010.Takata informed ODI that, after analysis of several ruptured inflators, Takata and Honda initially attributed the defect to handling of the propellant during inflator assembly that could have yielded increased moisture levels that, when coupled with thermal cycling in automobiles over time, could lead to reduced propellant density and overly aggressive combustion during air bag deployment.However, it discovered upon review of inflators returned from the 08V-593 recall campaign, some of which fell outside the manufacturing range when Takata suspected the propellant was exposed to elevated moisture, that the source of the defect was more likely due to problems with a specific compression press (Stokes press) used to form the inflator's propellant.Specifically, the propellant tablets produced by the press were found to be less dense, and therefore more susceptible to overly aggressive combustion during air bag deployment.Takata identified the manufacturing time frame over which the tablets were shown to have less dense properties as the end of calendar year 2000. Takata informed Honda of its discovery on or about June 12, 2009.Honda made its defect decision and then notified NHTSA of it on June 30, 2009.Honda then supplemented its filing with an identification of the specific vehicles to be included in the campaign, as well as identifying additional models to be included, on July 29, 2009.As with the 08V-593 campaign, Takata examined inflators returned from the 09V-259 campaign, and some of which were manufactured outside of the range when the Stokes press was found to have produced less dense propellant (beyond the end of February 2001).It provided those findings to Honda and Honda decided to expand safety recall 09V-259 to include all vehicles with inflators containing propellant manufactured using the Stokes press.Honda notified NHTSA of its decision on February 9, 2010.Based upon all available information, there is insufficient information to suggest that Honda failed to make timely defect decisions on information it was provided.Also, given that all inflators with propellant manufactured using the Stokes press have been recalled, there are no additional vehicles to be investigated and campaigned.Accordingly, this RQ is closed.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #RQ09004 »

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