Honda links 11th United States death to faulty Takata airbags

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

Japanese auto parts company Takata (TKTDF) is recalling an additional 2.7 million airbag inflators in the US, after the company determined they could explode in the event of a crash despite the use of a chemical additive to make sure of their safety.

Honda says it recently learned about an incident on June 18, 2016, in which a man was using a hammer to make repairs on a 2001 Honda Accord when the airbag inflator activated and ruptured, sending metal fragments flying.

The Japanese automaker said the 2001 Accord in Hialeah was included in multiple recalls and a safety campaign related to a defective airbag inflator on the driver's side.

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

All told, 12 people in the US and 17 worldwide have been killed by the defective inflators.

The Honda Accord was among a group of more than 300,000 unrepaired recalled Honda vehicles equipped with inflators with a substantial risk of rupturing. The new 2.7 million air bag inflators being recalled involve a drying agent, but Takata said testing showed ruptures could still take place.

The individual working on the vehicle in Florida died a day after sustaining injuries when the air bag deployed.

US Air Force lieutenant, Stephanie Erdman, was injured in one eye when a defective airbag deployed in her auto during a 2013 crash. The defective air bags can explode with too much force and spray shrapnel into the vehicle.

According to Honda, Alpha inflators can have as high as a 50-50 chance of exploding and injuring an occupant.

The NHTSA said 2001-2003 model Honda and Acura vehicles have as high as a 50 per cent chance of a risky air bag inflator rupture in a crash.

Takata expects to recall by 2019 about 125 million vehicles worldwide, including more than 60 million in the United States, Scott Caudill, chief operating officer of TK Holdings, Takata's USA unit, said in June. The OEM noted that 12 recall notices were sent since 2009 to the Accord's registered owners.

"Our records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle", Honda's statement said. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs.

The company's bankruptcy filings cleared the way for a $1.6-billion takeover of most of Takata's assets by rival Key Safety Systems, which is based in Detroit and owned by a Chinese company. Takata didn't identify the vehicle models affected in the notice.

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