Honda links 11th U.S. death to faulty Takata airbags

Honda links 11th U.S. death to faulty Takata airbags

Honda links 11th U.S. death to faulty Takata airbags

The expanded recall comes one day after Honda confirmed the 12th USA death - and 17th worldwide - tied to a faulty Takata air bag.

Honda just confirmed that in June of 2016, someone died while fixing a 2001 Honda Accord after a faulty Takata airbag went off. Ramon V. Kuffo, 88, who did not own the vehicle but had taken apart the center console with the ignition switch on, died of head trauma a day after a neighbor found him bleeding from the face in the passenger seat of the auto parked in his yard near Miami, Fla., reports the Detroit News. The automaker said police photos show that the metal inflator ruptured and shot out fragments.

The company did not release the name of the man out of respect for his family, but confirmed that he was not the car's owner and he was working on the vehicle at a private residence.

The fatality was the 12th in the United States linked to Takata's air bag inflaters, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and underscored the danger still posed by the faulty devices despite a widespread recall of vehicles using them. Over 42-million vehicles from more than a dozen automakers have been recalled due to defective Takata airbag inflators.

There are already 68 million Takata inflators already set to be recalled through 2019 because they might explode after a crash and could cover vehicle occupants with metal pieces.

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Honda said the vehicle's registered owners had received at least 12 recall notices but never got recommended repairs. Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman, said in an email the company learned of the incident through a legal claim in March. Worldwide, 100 million of the Takata inflators have been recalled.

The airbags on the following Hondas models have up to a 50% chance of exploding in a crash: 2001 and 2002 Accord and Civic, the 2002 CR-V and Odyssey, the 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL, the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL and the 2003 Pilot.

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. The incident occurred in Hialeah, Florida. Honda says it has sufficient supplies of replacement inflators available to fix all of its recalled vehicles.

Takata announced in late June that it reached a deal worth 175 billion Japanese yen, or $1.59 billion, to sell its remaining global assets and operations to a Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems that is headquartered in Sterling Heights.

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