a scary drive and huge news

This morning we went to the wonderful Grandma Pat's. We brought soup and celebrated birthday number 89! She's quite the lady.

However, on the drive over [which is about 20 minutes], I glanced over on the dashboard and happened to notice the "Passenger Airbag" light was lit to "off." I have no idea how to turn it off, and it has never been off before, so it caught my attention. Less than a minute later I glanced back to make sure I hadn't made it up and the light was no longer lit, which means it was on. But while I was looking at it, the light popped back on: "off".

What the heck? I thought. And then I remembered: About this time a year ago [oh, wait, nope-- I just looked: October of 2013…] we got a notice in the mail from Honda. It was an "important safety recall notice." If you know anything about my history with vehicles, you won't be surprised that we receive recall notices semi-regularly. That's what happens when you drive old cars.

This particular recall read: Honda has decided that a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in certain 2003-2004 model year Odyssey vehicles. There is a potential failure with the SRS electronic control unit which may cause an airbag to deploy without a crash. 

Oh. Okay. Great. But then the great people at Honda felt the need to include this:

An airbag that inadvertently deploys while the vehicle is in motion may distract the driver, increasing the risk of a crash. 

Really? That's surprising.

If you know anything about recalls, you know they are fixed at no cost to the owner. It's just a matter of getting it in to a dealership. We don't exactly live in a big town, and the only dealership we have is a small Chevrolet [which has worked out well since we've had two recalls on our Chevy Malibu recently]. I remember getting this Honda recall, and showing it to Brent. "Airbags? Not a big deal."

Not a big deal?! What in the world was going through his head, I have no idea. My response to his "not a big deal"?

"Brent! So I'm driving down the road at 70 mph, PREGNANT, with Blythe in the back seat, and the air bags deploy rendering me unconscious?! That's not a big deal?"

He decided it was. But somehow we never called. We never went in. And then we had a baby [whom we drove home from the hospital in our "airbags may deploy" van.

I forgot about it. Until today when that light was flashing. I knew, I just knew, the airbags were about ready to bust out of their containing cells and the girls and I were about to crash into a snow filled ditch. I called Brent, panicking a bit.

"I feel like I'm in a freakin' Jack-in-the-box! I hear the music playing! At any moment these suckers are coming out!"

And then I prepared for the inevitable. I zipped my phone in my coat pocket because I figured if I crashed and broke my legs, I couldn't be crawling around looking for my phone. I slowed down. 40 MPH seemed safer than 60. I was literally holding my breath.

We arrived at Grandma Pat's un-exploded. I dug through the glove box and found the recall notice [right next to the suction bulb I put in there when I was certain I wouldn't make it to the hospital and would be delivering Becks in the passenger seat… I apparently live in panic often]. I texted a picture to Brent and had him call. The worst part was that I knew I had to drive back home!

We enjoyed our time with Pat, and then got back in the death trap. I triple checked the tightness of the girls' car seat belts. The light flickered on and off the entire way home. I was super excited to pull into our garage and shut off the vehicle. Whew.

The parts have been ordered [for this recall and the two others that we apparently need? what?]. The dealership will call when they come in. But it will probably be about two weeks. So the question is, do I drive it? Clearly I was not too worried for a year and a half. Brent is bringing our Chevy in for a recall repair tomorrow, and then it should be good to go. Maybe we'll just hang out in it for awhile.

However, the return trip was a little more magical. After a quiet morning and a great soup for lunch, followed by cookies and coffee, I packed up our stuff and grabbed my phone to check messages. I had several. And my email was even more full. What was going on?

Just some of the biggest news I've received in a long time: Harper Lee is publishing her second book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  [that's not enough] !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had over ten people scrambling to tell me the big news. I told Grandma Pat, who is the same age as Lee, and her jaw dropped and she slapped her legs as if to say, "Well I'll be darned!" I had just been talking about Harper Lee that morning with Grandma Pat because I'm currently reading "The Mockingbird Next Door."

The book, "Go Set a Watchman," is actually the first book she wrote… about an adult Scout visiting her father, Atticus. But her publisher liked the flashbacks to young Scout, and pushed Lee to explore that story. And "To Kill a Mockingbird" was born. According the articles I'm reading, Lee didn't know that the original manuscript still existed until recently, and has decided to publish it. Apparently there were no revisions done to the original. It comes out July 14 and I have preordered it and I may not sleep until then. That's all.

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*carrie* said...

Well, so, um, we have an Odyssey, and now you have me wondering if that recall applies to our model? Will have to ask Eric. Sheesh.

And that's funny because when I saw that post on-line, you were the first person I thought of! Bet it will be #1 on the seller list that week. =)

Hannah said...

Humm. The airbag light in our old car used to go off and on all the time. Probably should have looked into that... But it's not a worry any more since we have a different car now. Though, I'm pretty sure I'm going to pay extra attention to that the next time I drive somewhere! I hope you can get it fixed soon and that no airbags deploy in the mean time. yikes!

And also. That book. Bah!! I can't wait. I didn't even think to pre-ordre it until I saw that you already had. It will probably be hard to get a hold of once it comes out, so maybe I should just go do that right now. Oh, how exciting!!!

anna said...

Ok, I read your blog sometimes and I have the SAME old van. My airbag light comes on and off though and it always says..."passenger side airbag" so I figure...I'm off the hook. It'll be my husband who gets the surprise of his life since I always drive. ;) Maybe I should start mentally preparing myself for the shock of it popping out on the passenger side though. Still could definitely be surprising. ha!