Takata Recalls 2.7M Airbags After Finding Drying Agent Doesn't Prevent Ruptures

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Honda said on Monday that the victim was using a hammer to fix a 2001 Accord parked at a home near Miami in June 2016.

Honda says the car's ignition switch was on, so the air bag would have been ready. Honda said the hammer triggered the activation of the air bag inflator, which ruptured as the bag was being deployed.

The individual working on the vehicle in Florida died a day after sustaining injuries when the air bag deployed. The airbag had deployed and "the rupture most likely contributed to his death", says a Honda rep.

Of the deaths linked to Takata's inflators, 16 took place in Honda vehicles since May 2009, including five in Malaysia using a different type of Takata inflator, while one death occurred in a Ford Motor Co vehicle in SC in December 2015. The company would not release the man's name. Martin noted that there is a deceleration sensor that activates the air bags mounted on the wall between the engine and passenger compartment. It will take the industry years to produce that many replacements.

"Our records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle", Honda's statement said.

Honda said it was recently made aware of the death. Takata inflators can explode with too much force when exposed to prolonged airborne moisture and hot-and-cold temperature cycles.

According to Honda, Alpha inflators can have as high as a 50-50 chance of exploding and injuring an occupant.

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Honda urged owners who have received recall notices to get repairs made as soon as possible, especially those with the most unsafe type of inflator. Of the approximately 29 million cars affected by the Takata recall, some with the most unsafe types of inflators are said to be Hondas and Acuras from the early 2000s, including the 2001-2002 Accord and Civic.

It's the 12th USA death attributed to the faulty inflators and 17th worldwide, including five in Malaysia. More than 180 people have been hurt in the US alone.

The Japanese air bag maker filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the US last month, saying that was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty inflators.

The latest recall applies to Takata air bags that use calcium sulfate as a desiccant, which is a chemical drying agent meant to make the air bags safer.

Scott Caudill, chief operating officer of TK Holdings, Takata's U.S. 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.

On Monday, the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan Southern Michigan announced the appointment of Harvard University Professor Eric D. Green to administer the $1 billion fund that Takata was required to set up to compensate drivers who purchased autos that were built with the faulty parts.

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