CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Honda Airbag



We have a '06 Honda Element which we bought used from a Honda dealer which supposedly passed a multi point inspection by the dealer before being sold. There was never a warning light indicating any problem with the air bag system showing while the car was running. A while ago, my wife ran into a parking lot lamp pole, doing about $10K damage to the left front. She was alone, but only the right airbag deployed. When the car was in the body shop to be fixed (a reputable shop that I trust) I asked that the drivers side airbag system be checked, since it didn't fire. When the car was fixed and we picked it up I asked if the left airbag had been checked, and they said yes. I asked how do you check it without setting it off, and they said that all the sensors and the airbag controller had been replaced (mandatory) and if there were any problem with the left airbag, the dash light would be lit-which didn't exactly give me a warm feeling,'cause it didn't light before the accident.

Your assessment and comments?


Herb Kephart

A double wammy,the right side should not have gone off and the left side should have but the car passes airbag self test.

I would tell this story to the insurance company and ask if you could have the Dealer perform a more extensive testing of the airbag system (and provide a senario where the right unoccupied side went off and the occupied drivers side did not). You have a valid question and deserve a explaniation how the events could happen as they did.

One question,is the car still under warranty? if yes this will be odd as accident related issues are not covered by warranty. You need to talk with Honda.

Thanks- Pretty much what I thought

Honda just issued a major recall for airbag problems. Not sure which years/models are involved, check with your dealer and/or Honda. Have your VIN handy. I realize it’s too late now, and apparently your wife is OK, but if she sustained any injuries, a call to a lawyer may be in order.

At the least, I would report this incident to NHTSA since it is safety-related.