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'Pit crews' go door-to-door replacing potentially deadly Takata airbag inflators

Hot, humid climate makes certain air bags more dangerous

HOUSTON – Honda is on the hunt for “alpha cars.” The company estimates about 75,000 so-called “alpha cars” are on the road in the United States, and as many as 9,000 could be in Texas.

As you can see in the story above, "alphas” are the first models of Honda and Acura cars discovered to have defective Takata airbag inflators. They have a 50 percent chance of rupturing in even a low-speed accident.

Those models include:

  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Honda Pilot
  • 2002-2003 Acura 3.2. TL
  • 2003 Acura 3.23 CL

For years, Honda has sent out notices, telephoned owners and even tried using social media to let owners of alphas know their cars have potentially deadly defective airbag inflators. But not all vehicles have been fixed. 

 “We're trying to make it as easy as possible,” said Chris Martin of Honda. "We're doing what we can to really save their life, because right now, ultimately, that is the risk that they're in when they're driving around in an unrepaired car.”

There are a couple ways to know if you have an alpha:

The Takata airbag recalls go way beyond Honda and Acura alphas. Drivers of other cars may be in a vehicle with a recalled air bag, too. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates there are 37 million vehicles equipped with 50 million defective Takata air bags.

Click here to see if you're driving a vehicle with a defective airbag. Recall repairs are free.