In case you thought that other auto manufacturers were smarter than GM, or at least capable of learning from GM’s mistakes, here’s a reality check:
Honda is now specifically allowing its dealers to sell unsafe, recalled used cars with faulty air bags that are prone to spewing metal fragments that become sometimes-lethal projectiles — as long as they get the used car buyer’s signature on a written “disclosure” — which the dealer can hide in a stack of documents and slip in AFTER you have already agreed to buy the car, settled on a price, and spent 4 hours at the dealership.
Safety Research and Strategies writes about why cars equipped with these defective air bags are finally being recalled — because of horrific incidents like these:
“In May 2009, 18-year-old Ashley Nicole Parham.of Oklahoma died in a 2001 Honda Accord, after her vehicle [collided with] another car in the school parking lot, tripping an explosion that sent a piece of metal right into her carotid artery.
In 2010, Kristy Williams, a Georgia college student, was stopped at a light, when her airbags deployed, expelling metal shards, which severed her neck and carotid artery and required two weeks in intensive care. Williams’ case against Honda was settled for an undisclosed sum.
On Christmas Eve, Guddi Rathore was at the wheel of her 2001 Honda Accord, when a U.S. postal service truck pulled out in front of her. The minor fender bender caused the airbag to explode. The metal shards severed the arteries in her neck, killing Rathore in front of her three young children, also occupants in the Accord.”
One of the complaints SRS documents, that was filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
“Oncoming driver crossed center line making a left turn in front of Honda driver. Honda struck passenger side of turning vehicle. Both driver and passenger side airbags deployed. However, the diver side airbag inflator ruptured and propelled a one-inch piece of shrapnel into the driver’s right eye. Loss of sight and severe lacerations to nose requiring 100 stitches.”
Even if those disclosures would pass legal muster — and some legal experts think they may be worse than no disclosure at all — what sort of car dealer would deliberately sell their customers a car with an air bag that may explode in their face and blind or kill them?
Automotive News: Honda pushes dealers for buyer’s signatures on air bag liability
Safety Research and Strategies: NHTSA finally gets curious about exploding air bags