Defective Takata Airbag Death Toll Rises to 8 in U.S.
Another life has been claimed by a faulty Takata airbag, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The news comes on the heels of a massive penalty issued by the NTHSA against the Japanese manufacturer last month.
A 13-year-old boy was killed in a car accident on July 22 while driving in a relative’s 2001 Honda Accord near Pittsburgh. The NHTSA just learned of the death when they received a letter from the victim’s family’s attorney in December.
Although details of the accident have not been released by police, the NHTSA investigated and found that the airbag inflator caused the death. They will be conducting an inspection of the vehicle for further confirmation.
Honda stated that it repeatedly sent recall notices to the vehicle’s owner, including a letter mailed a day before the fatal crash.
Airbag Inflators at Fault
The use of ammonium nitrate gas as a propellant in the airbag inflators is the primary culprit. At high temperatures and in humid conditions, the inflators can rupture when triggered, shooting shrapnel-like metal shards into the air at high speeds.
More than 30 million vehicles from 11 different automakers have been recalled as a result of the dangerous inflators, making it the largest product recall in history. In November, the NHTSA also issued its biggest civil penalty ever, ordering Takata to speed up the recall and repair process or face $200 million in fines.
To date, about 27 percent of the autos under recall have been repaired. To check if your car is under recall, visit the NHTSA’s VIN-look-up webpage.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective product, we can help you recover compensation. Contact Peterson & Associates, P.C.™ today to schedule a free consultation with one of our product liability attorneys.