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Honda links 11th USA death to faulty Takata airbags

12 July 2017

Instead, it was someone trying to make repairs with a hammer.

In a series of statements to United States publication The Detroit News, the company said the incident occurred in Hialeah, Florida, in June 2016 and involved a male that was using a hammer while the vehicle's ignition was switched on.

A Florida man's attempt to fix a 2001 Honda Accord containing a recalled Takata airbag led to his death, according to Honda and the Associated Press.

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.

In the event of an inflator rupture, metal fragments could pass through the airbag cushion material, which may result in injury or death to vehicle occupants.

Mr. Martin did not explain what caused the airbag to deploy, but noted that the airbags on the vehicle are activated by a deceleration sensor that is mounted between the engine and passenger compartment. Over 42-million vehicles from more than a dozen automakers have been recalled due to defective Takata airbag inflators.

The company that makes them is now adding nearly 3-million cars to its recall.

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Honda said the vehicle's registered owners had received at least 12 recall notices but never got recommended repairs. "Our records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle", Honda said in a statement.

Honda said it was recently made aware of the death. Laboratory tests show they have as high as a 50 percent chance of blowing apart in a crash. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs.

The NHTSA said 2001-2003 model Honda and Acura vehicles have as high as a 50 per cent chance of a unsafe air bag inflator rupture in a crash.

The death from the faulty inflator brings the US total to 12 and the worldwide total to 17. More than 180 people have been hurt in the US alone. By this year, the safety agency had extended the recall to cover almost 70 million air bags in 42 million vehicles of many makes and models.

The inflators, which were either originally used in the vehicles or used as replacements after a crash, differ from Takata's previous recalls because they contain calcium sulfate, a chemical meant to be a drying agent.

US-based Key Safety Systems (KSS) will take over Takata's global assets and operations in the coming months for the sum of $US1.6 billion ($A2.1 billion). That fine includes a US$25 million criminal penalty, US$125 million in payments to individuals affected by the faulty air bags and US$850 million for auto manufacturers who used Takata devices, according to a court filing.

Honda links 11th USA death to faulty Takata airbags