Man dies when air bag inflator ruptures amid vehicle fix

BRIEF-American Honda Motor says notified NHTSA of rupture of Takata airbag inflator on June 18, 2016‍​

Honda links 11th US death to faulty Takata airbags

The company says it's the 11th confirmed death in the USA associated with Takata's defective inflators.

Honda just confirmed that in June of 2016, someone died while fixing a 2001 Honda Accord after a faulty Takata airbag went off. According to the automaker, the car's ignition switch was on, so the airbag would have been ready.

Eventually, the person activated the air bag inflater, which ruptured as the bag blew up, according to Honda. In the report, the automaker says police photos show the exploded inflator and metal fragments. The company would not release the man's name.

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It's the 12th USA death from the faulty inflators and 17th worldwide. Of the approximately 29 million cars affected by the Takata recall, some with the most risky types of inflators are said to be Hondas and Acuras from the early 2000s, including the 2001-2002 Accord and Civic. The spokesman noted that there is a deceleration sensor that activates the air bags mounted on the wall between the engine and passenger compartment.

Takata's nitrate-based air bags, which don't use the chemical additive, have been under recall since they were linked to multiple fatalities and injuries, leading to the largest auto recall in history. The company added that it had mailed 12 notices about the recall effort over almost seven years to the owners of the vehicle.

The 2001 Accord has one of the most risky types of Takata driver's side air bag inflators. "That's why government regulators need to step up the pace of figuring out whether all remaining Takata airbag inflators are safe".

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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. Those models are the 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.

The latter happened near Miami, Florida, in June of 2016 and, unfortunately, the airbag the person triggered happened to be a recalled Takata unit, which was filled with ammonium nitrate propellent known to explode violently after being exposed to high humidity.

"On average, more than 500 recalled Honda and Acura vehicles are receiving estimates and triggering notifications through this system every day", Honda wrote.

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