CARS.COM — Another fatality in a crash in which the Takata airbag inflator ruptured is a tragic reminder to heed of Takata airbag recall notices and get the fix done as soon as possible.
Honda says it has determined that the Takata driver-side airbag inflator ruptured in a weekend crash in Malaysia that resulted in the death of the driver of a 2005 Honda City, a subcompact sedan sold primarily in emerging markets that shares a global platform with the Fit hatchback, which is sold in the U.S.
Honda said its records show that the vehicle was included in a May 21, 2015, recall announcement for the driver-side airbag and that three notices had been sent to the owner but that it had not been repaired. The car also had been recalled for the passenger-side airbag inflator.
Honda said it is continuing to investigate the crash, in which the cause of the woman’s death is not yet official, but which was described as an otherwise “minor crash” in an AP report. The local Malay Mail reported that “a projectile from the airbag” is believed to have pierced the mother of two’s chest.
The woman’s death, if confirmed, will bring the global death count linked with Takata inflator failures to 14, including 10 in the U.S. and four in Malaysia. The inflators can explode with too much force and send metal fragments at the occupants. The recall for the inflator defect is now the largest automotive recall in history, with up to 40 million vehicles affected just in the U.S.
Honda is the automaker most affected by the Takata recall. According to its recall fact sheet, it currently has about 8.5 million vehicles recalled in the U.S. for about 12.2 million individual inflators and that as of June 13 about 48 percent of the inflators have been replaced. It continues to urge owners to “take immediate action” to get their recalled cars repaired.
And so do we.