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. Completing that recall could have saved someone's life, and Honda says it continues to encourage people who own cars affected by the massive Takata airbag recall to schedule fix appointments with their dealers immediately.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday that new testing is prompting Takata Corp (7312.T) to declare 2.7 million air bag inflators defective in Ford Motor Co (F.N), Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) and Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) vehicles.
Honda says the individual died the following day from his injuries, though it's not obvious if the shrapnel resulting from the ruptured inflator was the cause of death or if the "interaction of the hammer with the deploying airbag" was the culprit. It would not release the man's name. The Accord in question was one of more than 300,000 un-repaired Honda vehicles still on the road equipped with the defective airbag inflators.
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. Takata inflators can explode with too much force when exposed to prolonged airborne moisture and hot-and-cold temperature cycles. The company added that it had mailed 12 notices about the recall effort over almost seven years to the owners of the vehicle.
US Air Force lieutenant, Stephanie Erdman, was injured in one eye when a defective airbag deployed in her vehicle during a 2013 crash.
According to Honda, Alpha inflators can have as high as a 50-50 chance of exploding and injuring an occupant. "Our records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle", Honda said in a statement.
Honda is again urging consumers who own a recalled vehicles to contact the company and get a replacement immediately. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs.
About 46 million Takata air bags in 29 million cars have already been called back, with another 20 million to 25 million additional air bags set to be recalled with the next couple of years. US supplier Key Safety Systems is set to purchase almost all of the company's global assets for $1.59 billion, which is still far short of what the company will ultimately face when all is said and done. Takata didn't identify the vehicle models affected in the notice.