Honda Confirms Another Death From Takata Airbags

Takata inflators can explode with too much force when exposed to prolonged airborne moisture and hot-and-cold

Takata inflators can explode with too much force when exposed to prolonged airborne moisture and hot-and-cold

"While the absolute cause of death may never be fully determined, Honda now considers this to be the 11 confirmed fatality in its vehicles related to Takata airbag inflator ruptures in the U.S".

In a series of statements to U.S. publication The Detroit News, the company said the incident occurred in Hialeah, Florida, in June 2016 and involved a male that was using a hammer while the vehicle's ignition was switched on.

According to The Detroit News, a man was performing an unknown fix inside a 2001 Honda Accord previous year when the airbag deployed.

The company said photos from a local police report indicate the inflator exploded and shot out metal fragments, but it remains unclear if this shrapnel caused the injuries the man died from the next day.

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The company did not release the name of the man out of respect for his family, but confirmed that he was not the car's owner and he was working on the vehicle at a private residence.

Recently bankrupt auto parts maker Takata is once against adding to its roster of potentially unsafe airbags, this time recalling 2.7 million airbag inflators that could explode violently despite containing a chemical meant to lessen the risk of the shrapnel-shooting ruptures. The spokesman noted that there is a deceleration sensor that activates the air bags mounted on the wall between the engine and passenger compartment. By this year, the safety agency had extended the recall to cover almost 70 million air bags in 42 million vehicles of many makes and models. The airbag inflator ruptured after it deployed. The owner had received 12 recall notices.

In January, Takata pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges related to its handling of the air bag defects and agreed to pay a US$1 billion (S$1.39 billion) fine. It's worth noting that The Associated Press cites Honda spokesperson Chris Martin, who said "The rupture most likely contributed to his death". Laboratory tests show they have as high as a 50 percent chance of blowing apart in a crash. The twist this time, however, is that the incident didn't occur during a crash, but while the vehicle was in a shop being repaired.

Honda urged owners who have received recall notices to get repairs made as soon as possible, especially those with the most risky type of inflator. Worldwide, 100 million of the Takata inflators have been recalled. Honda says it has sufficient supplies of replacement inflators available to fix all of its recalled vehicles.

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