Takata Airbag Linked To Another Death- Recall Expanded
An eighth death has been linked to exploding Takata airbag after a teenager was killed in an accident near Pittsburgh.
According to a report in The New York Times, the victim was in a 2001 Honda Accord whose airbag exploded.
The model had been recalled but the car’s airbag had not yet been fixed. The victim suffered severe injuries and died several days after the crash.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) learned about the crash after they were alerted by the family’s lawyers.
So far, 12 automakers have recalled more than 19 million vehicles to fix components in the defective airbag inflators manufactured by Takata.
These faulty inflators can cause the airbags to explode violently when they deploy sending shrapnel flying into the car’s cabin. Including this recent fatality, eight people have died and more than 100 have been injured as a result of this airbag defect.
Last year, a woman was killed in Malaysia by an exploding Takata airbag.
NHTSA has also announced that it will expand the recalls involving defective Takata airbags to several hundred thousand new Honda, Mazda and Subaru vehicles.
The recall is to fix issues with the airbag inflators, which contain the propellant that can unexpectedly explode. NHTSA has already fined Takata $70 million for failing to disclose the defect promptly and has warned that the fines could increase by $130 million if the company does not stick to the consent order’s conditions.
The new recalls are being issued for 2005-8 Subaru Legacy and Outback vehicles, 2005-8 Mazda 6 cars, and 2002-4 Honda CR-Vs. The agency is also waiting for Takata to prove that the airbag inflators that use a compound called ammonium nitrate are safe.
If not, all vehicles containing these inflators will eventually be recalled, safety regulators say.
Serious Safety Issue
According to a report on Forbes.com, in the most recent death of the teenager, the previous owner of that Honda had not complied with a 2010 recall for repairs. Honda officials said they made “numerous attempts” to reach the owner between 2010 and 2012.
Honda said it mailed an additional recall notice to the current owner, a relative of the deceased teen on July 21, 2015, one day before the crash.
This is no doubt a heartbreaking tragedy that could have been avoided had Takata put people over profits.
There have been many articles written about how Takata concealed information about the defects, how they dragged their feet on recalls and how they continue to stall when it comes to repairs and re-designing the dangerous inflators.
As auto product defect attorneys who represent victims of dangerous autos, we certainly hope Takata and the automakers involved are held accountable for consumers’ catastrophic injuries and losses.