The death of a California woman last month has been confirmed as the 11th U.S. fatality related to defective Takata airbags.
A 50-year-old woman was driving a 2001 Honda Civic in Riverside County when a Chevrolet pick-up truck made a left turn, smashing into her car head-on. She was transported to a local hospital where she died from her injuries.
The woman’s vehicle was among those identified in June by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as having a high risk of an airbag rupture. The agency urged 313,000 Honda and Acura owners to discontinue driving their vehicles until repairs were made.
According to tests by the NHTSA, these vehicles have up to a 50 percent chance of experiencing an airbag inflator rupture.
A Honda spokesperson said the Honda Civic involved in last month’s crash had been included in a number of recalls since 2008. Honda stated that it mailed more than 20 notices to the vehicle’s registered owners regarding the recall, yet the repairs were never made.
Honda is unaware if the woman who was killed ever received the notices, as she had purchased the car late in 2015.
With more than 69 million airbag inflators recalled in the U.S., this is the largest auto recall in American history.
Studies indicate that over time and when exposed to high heat and humidity, Takata airbag inflators, made of ammonium nitrate, can break down and become volatile. If involved in an accident, the defective inflators can violently explode and send shards of metal throughout a vehicle, seriously injuring or killing those in the vehicle.
The total number of global deaths tied to Takata airbag malfunctions could be as high as 16, as there are reports of up to five deaths in Malaysia in addition to the 11 U.S. fatalities.
If you were injured by a faulty Takata airbag, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the defective product lawyers at the Arnold Law Firm for a free consultation to determine if you have a legal claim.