If you follow the four-wheeled world at all, you will know that there has been a massive recall for vehicles equipped with Takata airbags. The recall affects roughly 34 million vehicles in the United States, at last count, though more seem to be added each week, my own four-wheeler included.
The size of the recall is due mostly to the fact that Takata makes the majority of vehicle airbag systems, and their design is fairly universal. In fact, it’s so universal that Takata even powers the airbags found on the Honda Gold Wing, which brings us to this story.
For the same reason that millions of cars are being recalled, American Honda is recalling 2,701 Honda Gold Wing motorcycles that were equipped with an airbag feature.
Before we get further along, it should be noted that this recall affects only certain 2006 to 2010 model-year motorcycles, which were sold in roughly 35 regions of the United States. Honda’s more than slightly confusing language on this is as follows:
2006-2010 Honda GL1800 (Gold Wing) motorcycles manufactured February 8, 2006, to May 14, 2009 originally sold, or ever registered, in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands, or “Zone A.”
Additionally, unless included in “Zone A” above, Honda is recalling certain model year 2006-2008 Honda GL 1800 (Gold Wing) motorcycles manufactured May 10, 2007, to May 14, 2009 originally sold, or ever registered, in Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, or “Zone B.” Motorcycles not originally sold or ever registered in either Zones A or B are not subject to this safety recall.
For the recall, the concern is that over time the propellant used to expand the airbag can degrade, causing the inflators to rupture. This then can cause metal shards to be expelled into the rider upon deployment, which could cause injury or possibly even death.
The sample size for motorcycles is quite small, Honda being virtually the only manufacturer affected, but in the car world, these airbags have claimed 10 lives, and over 100 injuries.
As such, American Honda will notify affected owners, and Honda dealers will replace the air bag module containing the inflator, free of charge.
Concerned Goldwing owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-866-784-1870. Honda’s number for this recall is KA8. As always, the NHTSA is also available at 1-888-327-4236 and safercar.gov.