United States says 2.7 million additional Takata air bag inflators to be recalled
12 July, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Celia Hoffman
"While the absolute cause of death may never be fully determined, Honda now considers this to be the 11th confirmed fatality in its vehicles related to Takata airbag inflator ruptures in the USA".
Ramon V. Kuffo, 81, of Hialeah, Florida, was working inside a 2001 Honda Accord using a hammer when the air bag inflator ruptured, on June 18, 2016. According to the automaker, the car's ignition switch was on, so the airbag would have been ready. But it's not clear what the man was doing or what set off the air bag.
Honda said police photos showed the metal inflator ruptured and shot out fragments.
The company did not release the name of the man out of respect for his family, but confirmed that he was not the car's owner and he was working on the vehicle at a private residence.
The 2001 Accord reportedly includes one of the more hazardous versions of Takata driver's side airbag inflators, with laboratory testing showing they have up to a 50 per cent chance of rupturing during an accident.
In January, Takata pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges related to its handling of the air bag defects and agreed to pay a US$1 billion (S$1.39 billion) fine.
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Mr. Martin did not explain what caused the airbag to deploy, but noted that the airbags on the vehicle are activated by a deceleration sensor that is mounted between the engine and passenger compartment.
Multiple owners of the auto were mailed 12 recall notices over seven years. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs.
Under a 2015 consent order with NHTSA, Takata may be required to recall all desiccated inflators unless it is able to prove to the agency that parts are safe by the end of 2019, potentially adding several million more airbags to the recalls.
Takata says it will work with vehicle manufactures to determine which models are affected by the new recall.
"Our records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle", Honda's statement said.
Scott Caudill, chief operating officer of TK Holdings, Takata's United States unit, said in a court affidavit last month in its bankruptcy filing that the company "faces insurmountable claims" relating to the recalls and owes billions of dollars to automakers.
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