Honda confirms 11th USA fatality linked to Takata airbags

12 July, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Honda links 11th US death to faulty Takata airbags

Another person has been killed by an exploding Takata air bag inflator, but this death wasn't the result of a crash. Honda says "Twelve mailed recall notices were sent over the course of almost seven years to registered owners of this vehicle prior to the June 2016 incident".

Accounting for this latest fatality, the deaths of 17 people globally - including 12 in the USA - have been linked to the defective inflators, while more than 180 US-based injuries have been related to the issue.

Honda said it was recently made aware of the death. The company has not been able to inspect the vehicle and is relying on police photos to make its determination, Honda spokesman Chris Martin said. In the report, the automaker says police photos show the exploded inflator and metal fragments.

"For years now, Takata has told the public that their line of air bag inflators with moisture absorbent was safe". The OEM noted that 12 recall notices were sent since 2009 to the Accord's registered owners.

Takata Corp.'s air bag inflators can explode with too much force, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers.

While the centre console was being dismantled, the tool triggered the activation of the airbag inflator, which then ruptured upon deployment. The Accord in question was one of more than 300,000 un-repaired Honda vehicles still on the road equipped with the defective airbag inflators.

The problem touched off the largest automotive recall in USA history involving up to 69 million inflators and 42 million vehicles.

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The inflators, which were either originally used in the vehicles or used as replacements after a crash, differ from Takata's previous recalls because they contain calcium sulfate, a chemical meant to be a drying agent.

The company said the man, who was not the owner of the auto, was performing repairs that involved using a hammer while the vehicle's ignition switch was in the "on" position.

While the incident doesn't seem to have occurred in a professional fix setting, it should be a stark reminder for all shops: Follow OEM guidelines not just to protect the vehicle owner, but the technician as well. Another five deaths were disclosed globally.

US-based Key Safety Systems (KSS) will take over Takata's global assets and operations in the coming months for the sum of $US1.6 billion ($A2.1 billion).

Green, who teaches at Harvard, has served as a mediator in many major cases, including the US Microsoft antitrust case, and now serves as a Justice Department monitor overseeing the implementation of billions of dollars in consumer relief linked to settlements with banks stemming from the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

The company did not specify which vehicles were affected by the recall.

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