Riverside Woman is Latest Victim of Defective Takata Airbag
Delia Robles, 50, of Corona, has been identified as the 11th U.S. victim of Takata Corporation’s defective airbag inflators. According to an Associated Press news report, The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed the woman’s death. Up to five people may also have been killed by the airbags in Malaysia bringing the number of deaths from these airbags globally to 16.
Officials say Robles was driving a 2001 Honda Civic on September 30, 2016, which struck a vehicle that was making a left turn in a Chevy pickup truck. The vehicles crashed head on. Robles was rushed to a nearby hospital where she died from her injuries. Police have said the unsafe left turn was what caused the collision. The role of the airbag is also suspected in Robles’ fatal injuries. The investigation is still ongoing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of Delia Robles for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
The Danger of Takata Airbags
Takata airbags can inflate with too much force causing the metal canister to rupture and shoot out shrapnel into the vehicle. Unlike other manufacturers, Takata uses ammonium nitrate, a chemical commonly found in fertilizer, to create a mini-explosion that inflates the airbags in the event of a crash. But, the problem with the chemical is that it can deteriorate when exposed to prolonged high heat and humidity causing it to burn faster than designed. This can blow apart a metal canister designed to contain the explosion.
This problem with Takata airbag inflators led to the largest U.S. auto recall in history. More than 69 million vehicles in the U.S. and over 100 million worldwide have been recalled. Honda said the vehicle involved in the Riverside County crash has been included in multiple recalls since 2008 and that the automaker mailed more than 20 recall notices to the car’s registered owners.
But its records show that the vehicle was never repaired. In June, NHTSA even issued an advisory urging owners of 313,000 older Hondas and Acuras to stop driving them after finding that the inflators in these vehicles are extremely dangerous. The chances of these inflators exploding in a crash were more than 50 percent the agency said.
The Impact of a Defective Automobile
The tragic death of Delia Robles shows the devastating impact that these dangerous and defective vehicles can have on the lives of people. When we see a recall in the news, most of us turn the other way, often with the belief that it probably doesn’t affect us. This is a warning to all consumers to ensure that the vehicles they purchase – new or used – are repaired if they have been recalled for safety issues. Check NHTSA’s safercar.gov to find out if your vehicle has been recalled.
If you or a loved one has been injured or if you have lost a loved one to a defective vehicle or vehicle part, contact an experienced Riverside Personal Injury Attorney that has the resources to independently investigate these cases and ensure that the negligent automakers are held accountable.