NHTSA probes sudden Honda Accord airbag deployment

Feb. 5, 2014
Investigation includes about 363,000 vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a probe looking whether airbags are deploying unexpectedly when a door is shut in the 2008 Honda Accord.

Federal safety regulators say they have heard from 28 drivers reporting the problem. In two cases people received injuries when airbags deployed unexpectedly. The investigation includes about 363,000 Accords.

Honda said it is aware of a "small number of complaints regarding the side airbags and side curtain airbags." It said it will cooperate with investigators and is also conducting its own review.

In most of the complaints, drivers reported the airbags deploying while the cars were parked.

They also reported being charged thousands of dollars to repair the cars after being told by their local Honda dealerships and the automaker that it was not a warranty issue. In many cases the driver's insurance covered the repair except for a deductible.

One driver reported that when his nephew exited the car, he shut the door "a little harder than normal" and the airbags deployed.

Another reported that when a passenger shut the door, "boom, the side curtain and passenger seat airbags deployed. Unbelievable," the driver told NHTSA.

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