Inside explosion?!

Not sure if this is the right place for it but… I had just leased a Passport 2 weeks ago and I’m not even at 300 miles on the car. I was just driving on the highway when it sounded like an explosion went off in the backseat of my car. I pulled over, had no exterior damage, but when I opened up the rear passanger door here is what I found:

I’m going to shot in the dark and say this is an extremely rare scenario, but if anyone has any insight please let me know. I’m going to assume dealer won’t do anything and I’ll have to go through insurance?

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Well this is fascinating.

If it’s something in the car the exploded, it certainly should be covered by warranty. Are you sure something didn’t come up from below off the road?

Your Honda service department is really the right place for it


Underside looks good, I will check again tomorrow morning when I’ll have better lighting. Definitely the most odd thing that’s ever happened to me while driving.

Yes, correct, but I’m on the east coast so no dealer is open at the moment, just wanted some kind of imsight as to what it couldve been (legit no clue), or the extremely small chance this has happened to anyone or anyone they know.

A Honda forum might also be a better place to ask.

I’m intrigued now. You’ll have to let us know what they say when you bring it in.


This really looks more like you ran over something that tried to jam itself up between the door and the frame or something bizarre like that. Lots of linear scratching suggests something being wedged in rather the exploding.


Is there any damage to the exterior?

Right. You can see it on the door seals, so it had to have come from outside.

It looks like you ran over something and launched it at just the right angle to pierce in between the piece of trim that attaches to the body. Extremely unfortunate bounce…


I had something similar a long time ago. It turned out to be a ramp that had fallen off a tow truck laying in the road. It tumbled under the car after being run over. It tore out a cv joint, fuel tank, several small holes in the floorboard metal, and others completely disabling the car. Took a week to fix on a road trip. Really unlucky bounce. Worst part was the tow truck that picked up the car in this tiny town was missing the same ramp :unamused:. Several other cars hit it before we could move it, but didn’t disable them (just saw sparks each time)

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Just going to take a stab in the dark here and is it possible that your seatbelt was stuck there and then something triggered the retractor that yanked it through the plastic? If it was the seatbelt the plastic was probably crushed when the door was closed initially, and what you heard was just seatbelt being snapped back while ripping out a few loose pieces of trim. Check the buckle of the closest belt.

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There’s some significant metal damage in there too. I’d be shocked if there was a seat belt retractor strong enough to do anything like that. If there is, I’m not sure I’d want to be wearing that seat belt when it went off.

Good theory, Honda website lists only front seats as having Emergency Tensioning Retractors. Could be an oversight on their website or the vehicle may not have them. Agree to inspect the belt/buckle in that seating position.

Like I said, if it was seatbelt, the damage was done when the door was closed. The sound would have been seatbelt freeing from already broken plastic and snapping back. The damage on the body of the vehicle under the seat, looks suspiciously square, that’s why I though seatbelt getting stuck.

In the MDX the rear seatbelts pulled themselves backwards, unless you specifically pulled the whole seatbelt out to disable that feature and lock it in place (like for installing car seats). I doubt honda is using different mechanisms for seatbelts between acura and honda

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I’ve actually shut a seatbelt in the door before on a Passport. Barely a mark, much less torn metal. It takes a significant impact to do that kind of damage.

like I said, just a theory and very easily checkable by looking at the condition of the buckle. I just don’t see something coming from the outside to cause that much damage without ripping either the underside or do a more severe damage to the door. on one hand the weather stripping on the door is off the door, but it’s not ripped either, it looks like it was squeezed / pulled of the ridge that holds it.

If this came from outside, right into the door seam, it’s a one in a billion shot. The OP literally used up his chance to win a lottery on this :slight_smile:


ETR’s are part of the SRS system and in some cars, a first threshold device. The concept is to ensure vehicle occupants are properly positioned if there is a collision and airbag deployment. Depending upon driving conditions, a vehicle may read a situation (non emergency) and set off the ETR. I would think Honda wouldn’t deploy the ETR unless it’s buckled. As for the force required for the pictured damage, an ETR could absolutely cause that. I know with MB, presafe which encompasses ETR’s has gone off many times while driving, most often during hard braking.

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