Takata Air Bag Explosion in Crash Kills 24th Person

Driver in Arizona was hit by shrapnel
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 29, 2019 6:50 PM CDT
Takata Air Bag Explosion in Crash Kills 24th Person
This 2017 file photo shows TK Holdings Inc. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Another driver has been killed by an exploding Takata air bag inflator, bringing the worldwide death toll to at least 24, the AP reports. The latest death occurred three days after a crash on June 8, 2018, in the Phoenix suburb of Buckeye, Arizona, according to a statement released Friday by Honda, which made the car involved in the crash. The driver, who was not identified, was hit by shrapnel from the air bag when a 2002 Honda Civic crashed at an intersection at 8:33pm, a Honda spokesman said. The death occurred at a hospital on June 11, according to the company. More than 200 people also have been hurt by the inflators, which have caused the largest series of automotive recalls in US history involving. As many as 70 million inflators are to be recalled by the end of next year.

Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the bags. But it can deteriorate due to high temperatures and humidity and explode too forcefully, spewing metal shrapnel. The deaths and recalls forced Takata into bankruptcy, with its assets purchased by a company owned by a Chinese investment firm. The owner of the Honda in the crash purchased the Civic used less than three months before the crash. But there is no federal requirement that used car sellers have the cars repaired or inform buyers of any unrepaired recall problems. Honda said it did not know the car had been sold recently. There also is no requirement that an automaker be notified when a vehicle changes hands, Honda said in a statement. (Thousands of "ticking time bombs" are on the road.)

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