Sunday, 24 September, 2017

Honda US confirms 17th worldwide Takata airbag-related death

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Heather Davidson | 12 July, 2017, 00:36

The expanded recall comes one day after Honda confirmed the 12th USA death - and 17th worldwide - tied to a faulty Takata air bag.

Honda says it recently learned about an incident on June 18, 2016, in which a man was using a hammer to make repairs on a 2001 Honda Accord when the airbag inflator activated and ruptured, sending metal fragments flying.

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.

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.

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

According to a Honda spokesperson, a deceleration sensor that activates the airbags is mounted on the wall between the engine and the passenger compartment. The owner had received 12 recall notices. The defective air bags can explode with too much force and spray shrapnel into the vehicle.

US Air Force lieutenant, Stephanie Erdman, was injured in one eye when a defective airbag deployed in her vehicle during a 2013 crash. It's worth noting that The Associated Press cites Honda spokesperson Chris Martin, who said "The rupture most likely contributed to his death".

"Our records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle", Honda's statement said. About 46 million Takata air bags in 29 million cars have already been called back, with another 20 million to 25 million additional air bags set to be recalled with the next couple of years. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs.

The airbags on the following Hondas models have up to a 50% chance of exploding in a crash: 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. 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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