Air Bags Unexpectedly Deploy, Tulsa Man Wants Car Recalled
Monday, November 24th 2014, 10:14 PM CST
More than 7 million cars are part of the recall, and the government wants auto-makers to expand it.
A Tulsa man said a near tragedy should put his car on the recall list, too.
Mitch Boulanger bought the 2005 Honda Accord for his 16-year-old son, but he won't be driving in anytime soon.
"There's no way I'll put him back in here until it's fixed," Boulanger said.
He said his son was heading to school on Highway 75 in west Tulsa, going 65 miles an hour, when the passenger's side air bags suddenly deployed.
Boulanger was skeptical, but his son insisted.
"No dad, I was driving down the road. They just went off," Boulanger said.
After making sure his son was okay, Boulanger called Honda North America - the company told him to call a local dealer.
South Pointe Honda ran several tests to see what triggered the side-impact and curtain air bags.
"The module reading said there was impact, so they're not going to help me," Boulanger said.
He had three other mechanics inspect the car and each came to the same conclusion.
"They said there was no impact on the module," he said.
Boulanger now wants answers from Honda North America.
Honda is one of ten car manufacturers conducting recalls for a possible safety defect involving air bags.
Boulanger's car is not part of that recall, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating newer 2008 Honda Accords because the "air bag can inadvertently deploy when the vehicle's door is shut."
"Although they said potholes could cause it originally, I laughed and said, 'Well we're in Tulsa. I guess you get a lot of these every day,'" said Boulanger.
When you turn on your car, you'll see an air bag, or supplemental restraint system, light - that should turn off after about five seconds - if it doesn't, there's a fault somewhere in the air bag system.
Honda North America, Inc. Spokesperson Chris Martin sent us an email saying:
"I'm sorry to hear that this happened. Airbags are covered under Honda's limited warranty, which is 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first, from the original sale date. Airbags are designed to deploy when sensors detect a serious impact. While it's not common, it is possible for underbody impacts from running over objects in the road or hitting large potholes to be significant enough to trigger the airbag sensors similar to a crash impact. Thus, it is possible for there to have been an underbody impact sufficient to deploy side airbags without actual body damage to the vehicle. That type of deployment is not indicative of a defect in the sensors or airbags.
"The best advice for consumers in this situation is to contact their insurance company in order to pursue repair. Insurance companies are in the business of investigating accidents, which often include airbag deployments, and they can likely provide some assistance to the customer."
For more information about the
, vehicle owners can all 1-888-327-4236.