The latest motorcycle to be recalled is the Honda GL 1800 Goldwing due its faulty airbag. The potentially dangerous airbag has been linked to at least 13 deaths and approximately 100 injuries. Initially, the recall affected 85 million cars that were fitted with Takata airbags, but the recall has now extended to more than 2700 motorcycles.
Earlier this year, various Honda automobile models in Australia were recalled due to airbag issues. Some of the models to be recalled were Legend, Civic, Insight, Jazz and the CR-V. Kristy Ganter, Honda Public Relations Coordinator in Australia, has said that there are no issues relating to Goldwing air bag/inflator in Australia.
However, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently noted that as result of atmospheric deterioration, over a period of time, an airbag inflator is likely to degrade. This leads to over aggressive inflation when an airbag is deployed. In some cases, the airbag's body may rupture and cause metal fragments to fly through the inflator and strike the rider. These metal fragments are the leading cause of serious injuries to the riders and in worst case scenario, fatal injuries.
Goldwing was first fitted with an airbag in 2006, and it was actually the first motorcycle to have this safety device. The main purpose of this device was to protect the riders from flipping off his bike during the head-on crash. But, the motorcycles that were manufactured between 2006 and 2010 were fitted with non-desiccated inflator modules which have been the cause of airbag ruptures.
Takata's airbag inflators are the culprit and the source of major concern on the safety of some Honda models. So far, no schedules for repairs or replacements have been released and owners are advised to call Honda for more information.
Honda has stated that there are no reported cases of airbag ruptures involving Honda GL1800 motorcycles. The 2700 motorcycles currently being recalled will include those that were manufactured between 2006 and 2010 but only in certain regions. Only Goldwings that were sold and operated in high humidity areas or areas affected by frequency temperature cycling have been affected by the recall at this time.
Recall notices are usually issued by the vehicle or motorcycle manufacturer through what is known as voluntary industry code under the ACCC. Most of the recalls are not mandatory, but its important to follow the manufacturers advice in relations to a recall request. According to Honda statement, the US owners of Honda GL 1800 will be notified about the recall by phone or mail to avail their bikes for inspection and repair. However, there are rumors that it might take a few months before this issue is fixed.
While any car or motorcycle recall is not a good news for the manufacturer, at least it shows that they care and they're largely diligent in fixing problems when they arise. If you feel that your motorcycle has an endemic problem that others might also be experiencing, you should contact ACCC for further advice and so that necessary action will be taken. This will ensure that you and others are safe on the road.