The Honda GL1800 Goldwing has been recalled over a faulty and potentially dangerous airbag linked to 13 deaths and more than 100 injuries in car crashes.
The recall was initially for 85 millions cars fitted with the Takata airbags, but has now been extended to about 2700 motorcycles.
In Australia earlier this year, various models of Civic, Legend, Jazz, City, Insight and CR-V were recalled over the airbag issue.
The recall was extended to the Goldwing in the US two weeks ago and has now been officially recalled in Australia.
Honda Australia Public Relations Coordinator Kristy Ganter says there have been “no Goldwing air bag/inflator issues within Australia at this time”.
The ACCC notice says: “Due to atmospheric deterioration, over time, the Airbag Inflator may degrade. This may lead to over aggressive inflation in the event of an airbag deployment. In some cases, the Inflator body may rupture causing metal fragments to pass through the airbag and strike the rider. The metal fragments may cause serious injury to the rider or, in the worst case scenario, fatal injuries.”
When the airbag was fitted to the Goldwing in 2006, it was the first motorcycle to feature the safety device. It was designed to deploy in a severe head-on crash and stop the rider from flipping off the bike.
However, those built from 2006-2010 used a non-desiccated inflator module that has since been found to cause airbag ruptures which have been linked to at least 10 deaths in automobile accidents.
Honda says there have not been any reported ruptures involving the motorcycles.
Owners of the affected 2006-2010 models will be notified about the recall by phone and mail to have their bike inspected and repaired at “at their earliest opportunity”.
However, there is word that it might take a couple of months before the fix is available.
Recall notices are issued by the manufacturer through a voluntary industry code under the ACCC.
Despite hundreds of recalls by various automotive manufacturers, none has ever been mandatory. All have been issued by the manufacturer.
While any recall is not good news for the manufacturer, it shows that they are largely diligent in fixing problems.
If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.
To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites: