On Oct. 20, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed another car accident death related to a ruptured Takata airbag. This is the 11th U.S. death from a ruptured Takata airbag and the 16th death worldwide.
The latest fatality happened in September in Riverside County, California, and the victim was a 50-year-old woman.
She was driving a 2001 Honda Civic and was involved in a head-on collision with a pickup truck that was making a left turn. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The NHTSA inspected the Honda Civic and was able to confirm that the woman's death was caused by a ruptured Takata airbag.
The Civic was subject to several recalls but it was never fixed, despite Honda sending more than 20 recall notices to the registered owners of the car.
It is unknown if the victim of last month's crash knew about the recall notices, as she purchased the car in late 2015.
Takata Airbag Recall
Defective Takata airbags set off the largest car safety recall in U.S. history, as regulators expect approximately 70 million of these airbags to be under recall by 2019.
Approximately 300,000 model year 2001 to 2003 Acuras and Hondas have Takata airbags with a particularly high risk of rupturing in a crash. The NHTSA has urged owners of these vehicles to immediately stop driving them and take them in for repairs.
Affected vehicles include:
- 2001-2002 Honda Civic
- 2001-2002 Honda Accord
- 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
- 2002 Honda CR-V
- 2002 Honda Odyssey
- 2003 Acura 3.2CL
- 2003 Honda Pilot
The defect in the airbags is related to the ammonium nitrate propellant. If the propellant degrades, it can burn too quickly when the airbag inflates. This chemical reaction can break the inflator module and spray shrapnel through the airbag and into the vehicle cabin, possibly injuring or killing the driver and passengers.
If you were injured or lost a loved one because of a ruptured Takata airbag, you may have legal recourse. Contact the Takata airbag lawyers at Simien & Simien for a free consultation to find out if you are entitled to compensation. Our personal injury lawyers charge no upfront fees if we take on your case.