Man Killed By Takata Airbag While Working On A Honda

Posted July 12, 2017

According to a notice [PDF] posted with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall was necessitated after Takata determined that certain driver frontal air bag inflators that use calcium sulfate as a desiccant may rupture due to propellant degradation as a result to exposure to humidity.

Honda confirmed on Monday that 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.

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. In the report, the automaker says police photos show the exploded inflator and metal fragments. It would not release the man's name.

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

Takata Corp. will recall an additional 2.7 million airbag inflators in the US after they concluded they could explode in a crash despite using a chemical additive to ensure their safety. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs.

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Honda said the vehicle's registered owners had received at least 12 recall notices but never got recommended repairs. The individual, who was not the owner of the vehicle, died the next day from injuries.

Honda stressed Monday that it has enough replacement inflators to fix every Honda and Acura with a recalled Takata airbag (particularly the Alphas) - for free. 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.

"Our records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle", Honda's statement said.

The company's bankruptcy filings cleared the way for a $1.6-billion takeover of most of Takata's assets by rival Key Safety Systems, which is based in Detroit and owned by a Chinese company.

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