Honda Crosstour in crossfire, facing airbag recall, reinforced roof

James Raia

Honda Crosstour in crossfire, facing airbag recall, reinforced roof 1The Honda Crosstour, the simultaneously praised and criticized new wagon-like crossover, is experiencing more growing pains.  After its recent less-than-sterling grade from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in its roof safety strength test, Honda is now recalling 3,336 Crosstours from its 2010 debut edition because of a problem with the front-side airbag.

“The front passenger airbag may not have been assembled according to correct specifications,” said NHTSA of the recall that will begin September 22. “In the event of a crash, the front passenger airbag may not deploy as intended and could place an unbelted child seated in the front passenger seat at greater risk of injury should the airbag deploy.”

In other documentation filed with the federal government, Honda said the problem lies with the airbag packing cloth cover.

“Deployment of the low-risk deployment flag will be delayed, resulting in improper performance,” said a Honda spokesperson. “Should the flap deploy improperly when an unbelted child is out of position in the front seat, the child may incur neck injuries.”

The Crossover’s designe received vast attention when it debuted on the market in the fall of 2009 as a 2010 model. Many reviewers were complimentary and critical — sometimes in the same review.

Honda Crosstour in crossfire, facing airbag recall, reinforced roof 2
Scott Burgess of the Detroit News, for example, wrote of the Crosstour’s exterior: “It improves on the Accord’s bland exterior. The Crosstour includes a more dynamic roofline — to accommodate the wagonesque functionality. It looks like engineers heated up an Accord and then ran it through a taffy puller, tacking on some checkered running boards and then changing out the front fascia.”

The Crosstour’s first issue was surprising considering the strong ratings Honda usually received across its product line. The Crosstour, however, performed the worst of several midsize SUVs and crossovers tested recently by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS).

While several more traditional SUV crossovers received the institute’s vaunted “Top Safety Pick” award, the Crosstour’s roof strength was rated “Marginal,” the second-to-lowest ranking available.

Although the Crosstour’s rollover likelihood is quite low, in both front and all-wheel-drive formats, the Accord Crosstour was granted four out of an available five stars. NHTSA test’s a vehicle’s evasive maneuver response, not its roof strength.

Accordingly, the Crosstour could get new a titanium-reinforced roof in order to better protect its passenger compartment.

Honda dealers will inspect and replace the passenger airbag module if necessary. For more information, contact Honda. Tel. 800-999-1009.

Article Last Updated: September 17, 2010.

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