Honda Confirms 11th US Death From Faulty Takata Airbag

Takata inflators can explode with too much force when exposed to prolonged airborne moisture and hot-and-cold

According to a notice [PDF] posted with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall was necessitated after Takata determined that certain driver frontal air bag inflators that use calcium sulfate as a desiccant may rupture due to propellant degradation as a result to exposure to humidity.

The Japanese automaker said the incident occurred in Florida in June 2016 when an individual was working on repairs on a 2001 Honda Accord and the air bag ruptured.

Accounting for this latest fatality, the deaths of 17 people globally - including 12 in the U.S. - have been linked to the defective inflators, while more than 180 US-based injuries have been related to the issue. The company has not been able to inspect the vehicle and is relying on police photos to make its determination, Honda spokesman Chris Martin said. It's worth noting that The Associated Press cites Honda spokesperson Chris Martin, who said "The rupture most likely contributed to his death".

The victim, who police said was not the car's owner, was working on the interior of the vehicle with a hammer and had taken apart the car's center console, but it wasn't clear what he was trying to fix.

According to The Detroit News, a man was performing an unknown fix inside a 2001 Honda Accord a year ago when the airbag deployed.

According to a Honda spokesperson, a deceleration sensor that activates the airbags is mounted on the wall between the engine and the passenger compartment. 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.

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

NHTSA estimates that Honda has fixed almost 60 percent of all the recalled airbags within its own and Acura vehicles - but that still leaves millions of inflators needing a fix.

Takata expects to recall by 2019 about 125 million vehicles worldwide, including more than 60 million in the United States, Scott Caudill, chief operating officer of TK Holdings, Takata's US unit, said in June.

The inflators were made from 2005 through 2012 and installed in vehicles manufactured by Nissan Motor Co. The owner had received 12 recall notices. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs.

"Our records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle", Honda's statement said. It costs about $10 per day, Martin said.

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