AP, Honda: Takata airbag inflator kills man fixing Accord at home

Jul 12, 2017, 00:23
AP, Honda: Takata airbag inflator kills man fixing Accord at home

Another person has been killed by an exploding Takata air bag inflator, but this death wasn't the result of a crash.

Honda just confirmed that in June of 2016, someone died while fixing a 2001 Honda Accord after a faulty Takata airbag went off.

Honda Motor Company in the US has confirmed another death related to a faulty Takata airbag, but on this occasion the deceased was performing repairs on the 2001 Accord instead of driving it.

Honda says its service procedures recommend disconnecting the battery when working on the air bag system.

The automaker says police photos show the inflator exploded and shot out metal fragments.

The company that makes them is now adding nearly 3-million cars to its recall.

The death from the faulty inflator brings the USA total to 12 and the worldwide total to 17. Over 42-million vehicles from more than a dozen automakers have been recalled due to defective Takata airbag inflators. The owner had received 12 recall notices.

Eventually, the person activated the air bag inflater, which ruptured as the bag blew up, according to Honda.

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

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.

Current and former owners of the specific Accord involved were mailed 12 safety notices over a seven-year period, but the company said "records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle". "Our records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle", Honda said in a statement.

If you've got a Honda or Acura in your shop, run the VIN through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator's recall locator.

Scott Caudill, chief operating officer of TK Holdings, Takata's USA unit, said in a court affidavit last month in its bankruptcy filing that the company "faces insurmountable claims" relating to the recalls and owes billions of dollars to automakers.

On Monday, the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan Southern Michigan announced the appointment of Harvard University Professor Eric D. Green to administer the $1 billion fund that Takata was required to set up to compensate drivers who purchased autos that were built with the faulty parts.

He disclosed that Takata has recalled, or expects to recall, by 2019 about 125 million vehicles worldwide, including more than 60 million in the US.

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