Mum killed in Takata airbag mishap

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Honda airbag mishap

Update: Honda has confirmed that the death was indeed caused by a faulty driver-side Takata airbag inflator. 

Could this be another Takata airbag mishap death? A mother was killed in a seemingly minor collision between her Honda and a Mercedes-Benz in Kota Damansara on the weekend. Firefighters found the driver’s airbag ruptured, and believed material protrusions from the steering wheel may have caused her death.

The 44-year old driver of the Honda died at the scene of the accident. Her three passengers were unharmed. While it was a minor collision, both driver and passenger airbags were deployed.

As you may be aware, Honda announced a recall last week, for all vehicles made between 2003-2011. This is to replace Takata-made passenger side airbag. This covers 147,894 units of Honda vehicles. Last year, Honda recalled 58,140 units of vehicles to replace the driver side airbag inflator.

Honda recall 2016

Before this, two deaths involving Takata airbags were reported in Malaysia–April and May 2016, in Sabah and Kedah respectively. Globally, the number totals more than a dozen deaths and 100 reported cases of injuries.

Honda isn’t the only manufacturer affected by Takata airbag faults, with Mazda, Mitsubishi, Toyota and even Ferrari have issued recalls for their vehicles.

The source of the issue involves a defective inflator and propellent devices that may deploy improperly in the event of a crash, shooting metal shrapnel into vehicle occupants. This is even more apparent in climates with persistent heat and high humidity.

Honda airbag mishap

Image credit: NBC News

Own a Honda? Get your airbags checked and changed

Honda Malaysia is urging all Honda vehicle owners to get their vehicles checked and parts replaced. Affected customers will be informed via a notification letter. Please bring the letter and your vehicle to the nearest authorized Honda dealer for inspection.

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Treat this with absolute seriousness.

You can also check your vehicle’s recall status by calling the Honda Toll Free number 1-800-88-2020 or log on to www.honda.com.my, or visit any authorized Honda dealers.

Official statement from Honda, 27 June 2016:

Honda has confirmed that the Takata single stage (SDI) driver’s airbag inflator ruptured in a crash on June 26, 2016 in Malaysia. The crash resulted in the tragic death of the driver. No official cause of death has been yet determined. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family of the driver during this difficult time.

Honda has confirmed during an inspection with the Royal Malaysia Police that the Takata single stage (SDI) driver’s airbag inflator ruptured in the crash of a 2005 Honda City on June 26, 2016 in Selangor state. The vehicle involved in this crash was included in a Malaysian Product Update (recall) announced on May 21, 2015, requiring replacement of the SDI inflator of the Takata driver’s front airbag.

Since 2015, this vehicle involved in this crash has been included in both driver’s Takata airbag inflator and passenger’s Takata airbag inflator recalls. Three mailed recall notices related to those recalls were sent to the owner. Our records indicate that the recall repair was never completed.

Honda is communicating with representative of the driver’s family in an effort to resolve their remaining concerns. Out of respect for the family, Honda will not provide any personal information.

Source: TheStarOnline, PaulTan.org, Honda Malaysia

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