Takata air bag inflator ruptures during car repair, kills man

- Another person has been killed in the U.S. by an exploding Takata air bag inflator, but this death wasn't the result of a crash.

Honda says a man died in June 2016 when an inflator ruptured while he was working inside a 2001 Honda Accord using a hammer.

Takata air bag recall becomes biggest ever in US

Honda says the car's ignition switch was on, so the air bag would have been ready. But it's not clear what the man was doing or what set off the air bag. Honda says police photos show the metal inflator ruptured and shot out fragments.

Honda says it was recently made aware of the death, which happened in Hialeah, Florida. The company would not release the man's name.

It's the 12th U.S. death from the faulty inflators and 17th worldwide.

GM recalls 200,000 cars for Takata air bag troubles

Ford adds 816,000 vehicles to growing Takata air bag recall

Takata agrees to plead guilty to concealing air bag defects

Because of the type of chemical propellant used by Takata, the defective air bags can inflate with too much force and spew deadly shrapnel at drivers and passengers. Takata sold the inflators to 19 automakers, including Toyota, Subaru, BMW, Honda, Ford and Nissan.

Last week, Takata filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo and Delaware. A small part of Takata will continue to manufacture replacements for the faulty air bag inflators.

The problem, though, is that 100 million of the Takata inflators worldwide have been recalled, 69 million in the U.S. alone in the biggest automotive recall in American history. It will take the industry years to produce that many replacements.

In the meantime, millions of car owners are forced to nervously wait for someone to fix a problem blamed for at least 17 grisly deaths worldwide, 12 of them in the United States. Many owners have been put on waiting lists by their dealers until the parts arrive.

"The big problem is the air bags are still out there. They're like bombs waiting to explode," said Billie-Marie Morrison, the lawyer for a young Las Vegas woman grievously injured by an exploding air bag in March.

In fact, the last batch of U.S. repairs is not scheduled to begin until September 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is overseeing the recall.

In the U.S., more than 16 million inflators have been repaired so far, or 38 percent of the total. In Japan, 70 percent have been replaced, according to Takata. That's partly because Japan won't renew vehicle registrations unless recalls have been completed.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories