The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has confirmed that yet another U.S. death has been linked to a faulty Takata Corp. airbag. The September 30th death of a driver in Riverside County, California is now the 11th American death linked to the dangerous airbags.
As Reuters reports, the latest victim was a 50-year-old woman who was driving a 2001 Honda Civic. That particular model was recalled for airbag repairs in 2008 but, in this case, wasn't repaired. A Takata Corp. spokesman said that this "tragedy underscores the importance of replacing those airbag inflators that have been recalled by automakers."
Faulty Takata airbag inflators are said to affect millions of cars produced by a wide variety of major automakers, but in an NHTSA press release, the agency reiterated that many older Honda vehicles appear to present a higher risk of serious injury for consumers. Those models include the 2001-2002 Honda Accord, the 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL, and the 2001-2002 Honda Civic, among others. Nine of the 11 recorded Takata airbag deaths in the U.S. have involved the 2001-2003 model Honda and Acura models.
World's Biggest Auto Recall
It is believed that more than 31 million cars in the U.S. have been outfitted with faulty and potentially dangerous inflators from Takata. More than 11 million of those airbags have been replaced, but automakers like Honda are still scrambling to repair more than 20 million outstanding vehicles that are still used regularly by consumers.
In the meantime, both federal regulators and automakers are reminding consumers to heed any recall notices they might receive. Honda claimed in a statement that the woman who died last month was mailed more than 20 recall notices to repair her vehicle.
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