The dangers of air bags made by Takata in older Hondas are by now well documented, and the legal case against three company executives is proceeding. Even so, the Washington Post points out a jarring stat: A decade after a massive recall, Honda says 62,307 vehicles are still on the roads out there with the worst of the devices—known as "Alphas," the driver-side bags have a 50-50 chance of exploding with shrapnel after just a fender bender. "Basically, people are driving around with ticking time bombs," a mechanic tells WMUR.
The reasons vary: In some cases, drivers may have ignored multiple notices to have their vehicles fixed. In others, cars may have changed hands several times over the years, making it difficult for the notice to reach the current driver. The Post, for instance, tells the story of a 26-year-old woman killed nearly four years ago while driving a 2001 Honda Civic that had been turned into a rental car. "We're good at repairing vehicles, but finding and convincing customers of older model vehicles to complete recalls, now that has proved a difficult challenge," says a VP for Honda North America. (Read more air bag stories.)