Recall Alert: Major Brand of Air Bag Can Cause Injury, Most Still Not Fixed

consumer
June 01, 2017Jun 01, 2017
Updated July 10 2017 5:35pm ET

Honda just confirmed that another death happened as a result of defective Takata airbag, but this time the car wasn't even in a crash, reports Reuters. Instead, the man was working on the parked Honda Accord 2001 when the airbags exploded and killed him. However, the LA Times notes that they are not sure what the man was doing to cause the airbags to go off. The accident happened in June 2016, but Honda was not made aware of it until recently. 

The Honda Accord 2001, that the unidentified man died in, has one of the highest explosion rates  "While the chance of explosion for most Takata airbags is less than 1 percent, it says, the rate for the bags in these specific vehicles is now more than 50 percent," writes the Washington Post

This brings the death toll up to 12 in the U.S. and 17 worldwide. 

A U.S. senator said in early June that more than 65 percent of 46.2 million recalled Takata Corp airbag inflators in the United States have yet to be repaired, reported Reuters. Senator Bill Nelson urged automakers to expedite the process. 

Citing information from a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) independent monitor, Senator Nelson said that of 46.2 million inflators recalled since 2015, only 15.8 have been repaired through mid-May. The 8.8 million owners who had received recall notices had been told that no replacement parts were currently available.

According to Reuters, the Takata inflators can explode with excessive force, in turn unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks. The inflators have been blamed for at least 16 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide.

The Takata inflators have been installed in vehicles made by 19 automakers, including Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Subaru, Mazda, BMW, Ford Motor Co., and Honda Motor Co. The recalls began in 2008 and involve about 100 million inflators worldwide.

Toyota, BMW, Mazda and Subaru reached a $553 settlement with Takata covering owners of almost 16 million vehicles. The automakers agreed to take new steps to inspire owners to get recall repairs completed.

Reuters reports that for more than a year, Takata has been searching for a financial sponsor to front the replacement cost for its inflators. This recall has become the auto industry’s biggest. Takata filed for bankruptcy in June, saying that it was the only way they'll be able to continue repairing the defective airbags. 

“We’re in a desperate need of a leader who will commit to resolving this Takata mess,” Nelson said, noting that the Trump administration has yet to nominate a candidate to lead the NHTSA.

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