Saturday, 18 November, 2017

AP, Honda: Takata airbag inflator kills man fixing Accord at home

Honda links 11th US death to faulty Takata airbags Man dies when air bag inflator ruptures amid car repair
Mae Harvey | 12 July, 2017, 00:34

The expanded recall comes one day after Honda confirmed the 12th USA death - and 17th worldwide - tied to a faulty Takata air bag. Hien Thi Tran was killed in 2013 after a vehicle accident.

Honda is again urging consumers who own a recalled vehicles to contact the company and get a replacement immediately.

It's the 12th US death from the faulty inflators and 17th worldwide.

Honda said it might be impossible to determine what actually triggered the airbag. An autopsy found that the cause of death were the metal and plastic fragments that cut her neck from the ruptured air bag. The company added that it had mailed 12 notices about the recall effort over almost seven years to the owners of the vehicle. But it's not clear what the man was doing or what set off the air bag.

A Florida man's attempt to fix a 2001 Honda Accord containing a recalled Takata airbag led to his death, according to Honda and the Associated Press.

Takata notes [PDF] that while it is unaware of any ruptured inflators that use a desiccant in vehicles on the road or in lab testing, analysis of the inflators show a pattern of propellant density reduction over time. "While the absolute cause of death may never be fully determined, Honda now considers this to be the 11th confirmed fatality in its vehicles related to Takata airbag inflator ruptures in the U.S".

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The recall, which comes in addition to the 42 million inflators Takata previously recalled, covers airbag inflators made from 2005 to 2012 and used in certain Nissan, Mazda, and Ford vehicles. The defective air bags can explode with too much force and spray shrapnel into the vehicle.

Honda says its "records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle".

Takata airbags and inflators can explode sending plastic and metal into those sitting in the front seat. Another five deaths were disclosed globally.

Takata announced in late June that it reached a deal worth 175 billion Japanese yen, or $1.59 billion, to sell its remaining global assets and operations to a Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems that is headquartered in Sterling Heights.

He disclosed that Takata has recalled, or expects to recall, by 2019 about 125 million vehicles worldwide, including more than 60 million in the US. That fine includes a US$25 million criminal penalty, US$125 million in payments to individuals affected by the faulty air bags and US$850 million for auto manufacturers who used Takata devices, according to a court filing.

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