Washington — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday it is opening a preliminary investigation into more than 360,000 2008 Honda Accord cars over complaints that air bags deploy accidentally when a door is closed.
NHTSA said it reviewed 28 complaints alleging inadvertent deployment of the side air bags.
“The complaints indicate the driver-side or passenger-side side curtain air bag and the side torso/seat-mounted air bag deployed when the driver or passenger door was shut. Two of the complaints reported injuries allegedly caused by the deploying air bags,” NHTSA said.
One complaint filed in October said a 9-year-old boy was injured when the air bag hit him in the head, the complaint said. The child was hospitalized for two days.
“He ended up with a concussion and blood behind his ear on the inside,” the complaint said. “My son was in the emergency room and ended up having a CAT scan of his brain.”
Another complaint filed in January 2013 said after the passenger shut the door, both passenger side air bags deployed. A repair shop said the problem may have been a faulty control module. Another owner said the air bag deployed even though his Accord had just 22,000 miles on it.
One complaint said an air bag deployed after a woman and her fiance arrived at the hospital to take their daughter to the emergency room. When the boyfriend shut the door, the air bags deployed.
Some complaints said the air bags cost $6,000 to $7,500 to fix.
Honda spokesman Chris Martin said the automaker will “cooperate with the NHTSA through the investigation process, and we will continue our own internal review of the available information.”