Recalled Takata Airbag Kills Driver In Arizona, Brings Death Toll To 24

Faulty Takata airbag inflators have claimed another victim as Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have confirmed the driver of a 2002 Civic was killed as a result of an inflator that ruptured during a crash last year.

According to Honda, the driver of the Civic purchased the vehicle less than three months before the accident. Honda wasn’t aware that the vehicle changed hands, so the new owner didn’t receive any recall notifications from the automaker despite the fact that the car was originally recalled in December of 2014.

This unfortunate turn of events could have contributed to the driver’s death as they may not have known their vehicle was involved in the massive recall. However, Honda said they went to extensive lengths to get the previous owners to fix the vehicle. The company says they mailed more than 12 recall notices and made more than 20 phone calls in an attempt to reach them. Despite this effort, the repair was never completed.

In the United States alone, Takata airbag inflators have caused 16 fatalities and more than 200 injuries. 24 people have been killed globally according to the Associated Press

Owners can check to see if their vehicle is included in the recall by using the NHTSA’s Recalls Look-up Tool. If you discover your vehicle is under recall, you should immediately contact your dealer and schedule an appointment to get the faulty airbag inflator replaced.

Acura and Honda said they have enough replacement inflators to complete repairs for all recalled vehicles in the United States. The company also urged people to get the repairs done as soon as possible. Honda went on to say “Older vehicles, especially 2001-2003 model year vehicles, have a heightened risk of an airbag inflator rupture and pose the greatest safety risk.”

  • TechLegend

    Sad, but it could have been prevented. Gotta do your recalls… especially something like this.

  • Ken Lyns

    So it’s possible to do title/plate transfer on a car with open recalls in Arizona?

  • Ken Lyns

    Meh, no different than buying a used car with bad ball joints, worn out brake pads, or exhaust leak. Run the VIN for open recalls and get the car checked out by a mechanic (or yourself if you have some mechanical aptitude). The buyer was negligent as well.

  • TheBelltower

    Dumb question… when you get a safety inspection done every year, or when you buy or sell a car, is a recall check on the car part of it?

    • Jay

      I was just thinking about this too, good question. I assume a good dealership/seller would check the recalls and make sure everything thing is in order but I doubt all places would.

      • TheBelltower

        Especially if it was sold privately. I don’t know what it’s like in AZ, but in NY we need to get our cars inspected when you buy a used car and annually. It does include being notified of any recalls. It’s not reasonable to expect the buyer of a seventeen year old Civic to check on outstanding recalls themselves. Most people wouldn’t know to do this.

  • Mr. EP9

    The fact that there are still Takata airbags out there is unsettling.

  • Ken Lyns

    Again, there are any number of ways a used car can be unsafe, especially in a free state that doesn’t require safety inspections or recalls to be closed to do plate transfer. Not here to babysit.

    Of course, we don’t know the circumstances around the crash. Was the Civic driver at fault? Under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Texting?

    • Althea Later

      That is all besides the point. People have been killed by these airbags in very minor accidents. Sharp pieces of metal get blasted into your face at 200 mph.
      The previous owner of the Civic is extremely irresponsible. 12 notices and 20 phone calls.
      The last two cars I owned that I sold, I had all the recalls done before selling.

      • Ken Lyns

        My point is, things need to be kept in perspective. Why sell a car after 17 years? Usually it’s to unload it with some major problems before they get even more expensive to fix. Used cars are typically sold by private parties as-is with no pretense of being roadworthy or safe. It’s 100% buyer beware.

        Airbags deploy in high-energy collisions, not minor accidents.

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  • Ken Lyns

    Why sell a car after 17 years? Usually it’s to unload it with some major problems before they get even more expensive to fix. Used cars are typically sold by private parties as-is with no pretense of being roadworthy or safe. It’s 100% buyer beware.

    • Stephen G

      It is 100% buyer beware, but most people don’t “unload” an older car just because it has major problems. Unless of course you said that because it’s something you have done.

  • Stephen G

    Somebody received these phone calls and notices. If it’s the previous owner they should be held responsible.

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