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.”