Honda recalls airbags? The media bonfire continues

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That’s over 1,000,000 Hondas recalled in the past few weeks

They're popular, fuel-efficient cars. Now Honda Accords have recalled airbags, among other 2001 and 2002 models

Hot on the heels of the recent Toyota recall, we see now that Honda is recalling airbags. Some think this is a conspiracy on the part of the U.S. government and General Motors/GM, but I think we’re simply hearing more about recalls that would have occurred anyway. Media needs to feed itself, you know. Some things are temporary; juicy stories are eternal, at least until the next one comes along.

Honda recalls airbags and investors squirm

According to the Washington Post, a 438,000-car recall has been deemed necessary after the discovery that defective airbag deflators can cause the bag to rip and subsequently explode. The fragments fly at high speed toward the driver and passengers, which can cause serious injury. In the U.S. alone, one related fatality and 11 injuries have been reported. That’s 12 incidents too many, of course. The U.S. division of Takata Corp – the company that makes the Honda airbags for the models affected – is responsible for the most recent Honda recall of airbags.

On the investing side, the share drop is expected. The Honda recall of airbags has been estimated to cost 24 million yen in Japan, per the company. That’s about $267,000 in Japan, but for the rest of the world, the total cost is predicted to be around $30 million. Thus, the Post reports Honda’s price fell 0.2 percent in Tokyo; Takata fell 1.6 percent.

What Hondas are affected and what should you do?

These 2001 and 2002 model Hondas are included in the Honda recall of airbags: Accord, Odyssey, Civic, Pilot and CR-V. The 2002 Acura TL and CL are also affected. If the Honda airbag recall affects you, call (800) 382-2238 or see Honda customer service for what to do next.

Jazz should be fiery, but not like this

Did you know that a Honda Jazz in South Africa went up in flames due to an electronic window control error? It claimed the life of a child, according to the Post. That spearheaded a 636,000-car Honda recall two weeks ago. A previous Honda airbag recall in 2008 and 2009 took over 500,000 cars out of circulation.

Serious? Yes. As serious as the media makes it out to be? Perhaps not.

At least that’s what analysts like Yoshihiko Tabei of Kazaka Securities – among others – are saying. The general consensus seems to be that the import of recent auto recalls is somewhat overblown. However, if lives are lost and injuries occur due to failure on the part of automakers and their associated manufacturers, shouldn’t they be held responsible? This blogger thinks that the value of a life will always exceed anything on the balance sheet.

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