NHTSA Issues Second Order for Honda Recall Documents

DETROIT (Detroit Free Press/MCT) -

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday it wants Honda to produce even more documents and data than it asked for earlier this week, related to the recall of millions of air bags.

NHTSA issued a 15-page special order asking the Japanese automaker to produce all documents and communications it has had with air-bag supplier Takata about its air-bag inflators and recalls of vehicles equipped with the faulty inflators.

The safety agency also asks Honda to produce all internal communications about the recalls. Honda has until Dec. 15 to comply.

Honda has recalled more than 5 million vehicles in seven separate recalls for vehicles that have potentially faulty air bags. In all, a total of 10 different manufacturers have recalled more than 7.8 million vehicles with Takata air bags purchased in high-humidity states that can rupture if moisture degrades the inflation systems.

“We are compelling Honda to produce documents and answer questions under oath relevant to our ongoing investigation into defective air bags made by Takata,” David Friedman, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator said in a statement. “We expect Honda’s full cooperation as we work to keep the American public safe.”

Wednesday’s action is on top of an investigation launched earlier this week by NHTSA asking Honda to show by Nov. 24 what and when it knew about deaths and injuries caused by exploding air bags made by Takata.

That investigation is focused on whether or not Honda reported information about accidents related to the recalls in a timely manner.

The government’s safety agency requires all automakers to report quarterly on any incident that involves a death or serious injury.

Last week, NHTSA gave Takata its own deadline of Dec. 1 to answer about three dozen specific questions, including how many replacement air bags it has made and how quickly it can produce enough to address the problem. Other automakers have also been asked to supply NHTSA with information about their specific recalls and efforts to find other sources for replacement air bags.