More than 150 customers have had part of their car’s air bag replaced at Walsh Honda in Macon during the past two weeks after a massive recall nationwide.
Vehicles made by at least 10 manufacturers are involved in the recall.
“I’ve gotten three or four dozen phone calls a day about it,” Honda service manager William Sawyer said.
Tuesday’s inquiries were brisk. His department had ordered 25 replacement parts for customers by mid-afternoon.
The part that’s defective is called an inflator, Sawyer said. It’s a metal, disk-shaped mechanism that deploys the air bag.
“What’s happening is, (the inflator) is actually exploding. The pressure’s too much,” Sawyer explained. “It’s actually causing this casing to come apart. It blows air out, just pressurized air, and what it’s doing is blowing some of this metal (and) causing it to come apart, and that’s coming through the air bags.”
The part is manufactured by Japanese auto company Takata and takes about a day to order and about an hour to replace. The recall may affect the passenger side or driver’s side air bag, or both, Sawyer said. The parts and labor are free to Honda customers who qualify for a replacement.
Not all cars on the recall list are affected though, Sawyer said. Replacement parts are ordered using the vehicle identification number, which is usually located near the bottom of the front windshield on the driver’s side. Only a certain range of VIN numbers are affected.
“Just telling us the year and the model is not going to help,” Sawyer said. “Make sure you call in with the VIN number and we can run that and check it. That’s going to be the fail-safe way of knowing.”
Sawyer said the number of vehicles that have had a defective inflator is small compared with the number of vehicles that haven’t had an issue.
“Of course, one is too many,” he said. “We don’t want the customer hurt at all.”
Calls to other midstate dealers Tuesday either were referred to corporate offices or phone messages were not returned.
To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4382.