Honda recently confirmed a 17th US death related to a faulty Takata airbag inflator.
After analyzing the case with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Honda confirmed that the faulty airbag inflator of the 2002 Honda Civic was the leading cause of death.
Since 2009, as many as two deaths were reported related to Takata airbags installed in Ford vehicle, plus 15 deaths for Honda. NHTSA claims that the inflator’s explosion is basically due to extended exposure to high-temperature fluctuations and humidity. The primary defect causes the airbag inflators to rupture and blasts metal fragments everywhere, leading to the most massive automotive recall in the States.
Honda recalled 2002 Civics to replace the driver’s frontal airbag inflator in December 2011 and the passenger’s side in 2014.
Honda also claimed to have sent 15 recall notices over eight years to the registered owners of the car, besides many other attempts to contact the owners regarding the replacement of the faulty components.
However, the person killed in the accident was not a registered owner, and the driver might not have been informed of the recalls. Nonetheless, Honda had to pay $85 million to settle the investigation for the use of defective Takata inflators.
Around 100 million defective inflators have been replaced globally from 19 leading automakers, with about 63 million inflators only in the US.
With 17 airbag-related deaths already, if you own a Honda covered by the recall, maybe give a quick call to your local dealer and make sure the inflators have been replaced on your vehicle.
As they say, better safe than sorry, right?