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Investigation: Honda Odyssey for sudden airbag deployment, Pontiac G6 for faulty brake lights

The 2003-2004 Odyssey and 2005-2008 G6 models are under investigation for reported defects.

By Exhaust Notes Jun 10, 2013 8:46AM
The U.S. government is investigating two car models for airbags that can inadvertently deploy and brake lights that can fail to switch on while stopping, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NHTSA received six complaints from owners of 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey models alleging that their front airbags deployed without warning or a crash. The agency said it received 41 additional complaints regarding illuminating air bag warning lights, although the two issues are not necessarily linked. Honda sourced its airbags from supplier TRW, which also supplied airbags for nearly 920,000 Jeep models that were recalled in November for inadvertent airbag deployment. The Odyssey's airbags contain the same electrical circuit that was prone to "overstress" in the Jeep models, the filings said. As many as 320,000 vehicles may be affected.

In December, Honda recalled 870,000 vehicles for faulty ignition interlocks that can let the autos roll away unexpectedly when parked, including the 2003-2004 Odyssey.

In April 2013, Honda, along with five other automakers  that share the same parts, recalled 561,000 cars, including the 2002 Odyssey, for front passenger airbag inflators that could rupture and injure occupants during a crash.

General Motors sent NHTSA more than 1,100 reports of brake light malfunctions on the 2005-2008 Pontiac G6, a discontinued midsize sedan. The complaints, along with at least 314 sent directly to NHTSA, allege that the light operation was reversed; the brake lights illuminated when the brake pedal wasn't depressed and switched back off when the pedal was depressed. Other complaints show that some G6 models were difficult to shift from the park position and that the cruise control system did not function properly. GM also reported more than 14,000 related warranty claims regarding the brake lights. About 551,511 cars may be affected.

On June 5, General Motors recalled 1,627 cars from the 2013 and 2014 model years to fix brake lights that could flash intermittently and cruise control systems that could switch off.

While NHTSA investigations often lead to recalls, this is not always the case. No recall is official until the manufacturer announces it formally to the agency.
Jun 10, 2013 10:24AM
Misleading title...seems the problem isnt with Honda, but with the airbag supplier TRW.  
Jun 10, 2013 11:00AM

I love how when its a ford chrysler or gm recall the posts are how bad us car co . are but when its a foreign product its not there fault its the suppliers . double standards, i love it

Jun 10, 2013 11:01AM

Had one of those G6's and that's exactly what happened- brake lights worked in reverse and when affected would automatically disable the cruise control (computer thought brakes had been depressed).


Sadly the repair took five minutes and a tube of di-electric grease.  Remove a pin plug under the dash, apply grease with brush, reattach.  Elapsed time 45 seconds.  I spent six months arguing with GM to recall this before I stumbled onto the fix online and did it myself.  Seems the same issue happened with the 2005 and this was how it was repaired.  Once I greased the pins (which could accumulate moisture without the grease) it never happened again.  I could have easily been rear-ended at any time as I could be stopping with no brake lights and my complaint and request to repair was ignored for the better part of a year.

Jun 10, 2013 11:23AM
Hey!! Cut GM some slack would ya? If YOU were stoned or drunk while installing the pin in the G6's plug, you may have forgotten to grease it too. It's not GM's fault, it's the UAW's! Trust me, GM would LOVE to dump the bums and be able to increase their quality with the money saved from not using these overpriced monkeys!
Jun 10, 2013 10:54AM
Jun 11, 2013 9:41AM
To those who say Honda is a U.S. company, you are dead wrong.  Honda's headquarters are in Japan, its stock is not traded on any U.S. stock market.  Honda ASSEMBLES vehicles in the U.S.  There is a huge difference between assembly and built.  Also, the plants Honda has here in the U.S. are tooled by Honda and other Japanese firms, robotics, motors/controllers and other assembly machines mostly come from Japan, are supported by Japanese.  Toyota and Honda are NOT American in anyway, shape or form.
Jun 10, 2013 12:16PM
Recall them all. Since the non science oriented EPA cry babies have stopped real automobile manufacture in the USA, the whimpy cow pile shaped imports are all junky. I can no longer find a real six passenger luxery sedan like the DeVilles and the Town Cars. Life as free men has ceased.
Jun 10, 2013 11:46AM
The Pontiac Division is closed and out of business. Good luck to anyone who was stupid enough to buy a GM car in the last dozen or so years and actually hung onto it. I had a Pontiac and was so royally screwed by GM over that certifiable lemon, that I won't even rent a GM car. Now that the government and the unions own GM you won't get any help fixing their crap. If the American car industry wants to succeed they need to figure out how to get the UAW and their hoards employed over at the foreign companies so they can drive the quality as low as they did to the American cars.
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