Saturday, 22 July, 2017

Man Killed By Takata Airbag While Working On A Honda

A visitor and the logo of Honda Motor Co are reflected on a Honda car at the company's headquarters in Tokyo Honda Motor Co Logo at the company's headquarters in Tokyo January 2009
Lance Thomas | 12 July, 2017, 00:11

Honda (HMC) said Monday the death of an individual in Florida a year ago is the 11th fatality connected to defective airbag inflators made by Takata.

Honda says it recently learned about an incident on June 18, 2016, in which a man was using a hammer to make repairs on a 2001 Honda Accord when the airbag inflator activated and ruptured, sending metal fragments flying. The company, which has filed for bankruptcy protection in both the USA and Japan, has agreed to recall all original equipment inflators without a drying agent in phases by the end of 2018.

While the incident doesn't seem to have occurred in a professional fix setting, it should be a stark reminder for all shops: Follow OEM guidelines not just to protect the vehicle owner, but the technician as well.

Both airbags had inflated, the AP said.

Honda spokesman Chris Martin said the man had taken apart the car's center console and was using a hammer to fix something when the airbag exploded and sprayed out metal shrapnel.

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. Honda determined that the air bag had ruptured and notified the safety agency, the automaker said.

According to a Honda spokesperson, a deceleration sensor that activates the airbags is mounted on the wall between the engine and the passenger compartment. But it's not clear what the man was doing or what set off the air bag.

"The rupture most likely contributed to his death", Martin said. The owner had received 12 recall notices.

The latter happened near Miami, Florida, in June of 2016 and, unfortunately, the airbag the person triggered happened to be a recalled Takata unit, which was filled with ammonium nitrate propellent known to explode violently after being exposed to high humidity.

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

Multiple owners of the vehicle were mailed 12 recall notices over seven years. Those models are the 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.

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in a statement Tuesday that tests done by Takata show that for the first time, a type of dessicated inflator "will pose a safety risk if not replaced". Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs.

Multiple owners of the vehicle were mailed 12 recall notices over seven years. Mazda said its recall covers about 6,000 B-Series trucks from 2007 through 2009.

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