Honda US confirms 17th worldwide Takata airbag-related death

Posted July 12, 2017

Honda has confirmed 11 deaths and more than 150 injuries in the U.S. Including a death that occurred in a Ford Ranger truck, automakers have linked a total of 12 deaths to Takata airbags.

Honda says a man died in June 2016 when an inflator ruptured while he was working inside a 2001 Honda Accord using a hammer.

The Japanese automaker said the 2001 Accord in Hialeah was included in multiple recalls and a safety campaign related to a defective airbag inflator on the driver's side.

Takata Corp.is expanding its recall to include another 2.7 million air bag inflators in the United States that may be prone to rupturing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Tuesday.

A company spokesman said the man had taken apart the car's center console, although it's not exactly clear what he was working on.

It's the 12th US death attributed to the faulty inflators and 17th worldwide, including five in Malaysia.

There are already 68 million Takata inflators already set to be recalled through 2019 because they might explode after a crash and could cover vehicle occupants with metal pieces.

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The company said it recently learned of the death. The OEM noted that 12 recall notices were sent since 2009 to the Accord's registered owners. When it did deploy, the faulty propellant ruptured the inflator and, according to The Associated Press, "shot out fragments".

A man was killed Florida by an exploding Takata (file image) air bag inflator, but this death wasn't the result of a crash.

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.

Honda urged owners who have received recall notices to get repairs made as soon as possible, especially those with the most unsafe type of inflator.

Last month, Takata filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and Japan following call backs for over 100 million faulty airbags, with global liabilities expected to reach up to $US10 billion ($A13.2 billion). Those models are the 2001 and 2002 Accord and Civic, the 2002 CR-V and Odyssey, the 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL, the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL and the 2003 Pilot.

"On average, more than 500 recalled Honda and Acura vehicles are receiving estimates and triggering notifications through this system every day", Honda wrote.

Facing billions of dollars in losses and court settlements, Takata declared bankruptcy last month.