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Honda Confirms 20th Takata Airbag Death

December 21, 2017
Colson Hicks Eidson

Officials with Honda Motor Company confirmed another death caused by an exploding Takata airbag inflator. Honda said the person died on July 10 during a crash in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The unidentified person, who was in a 2004 Honda Civic, is the 20th death worldwide caused by Takata’s defective airbag inflators. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Honda confirmed the death during a recent inspection. According to Honda, the car’s airbag was salvaged from a 2002 Honda Civic.

Takata’s defective inflators use ammonium nitrate, a highly volatile chemical, as a propellant to inflate the airbags during a crash. The ammonium nitrate can degrade and become unstable when it is exposed to heat and humidity for long periods of time. As a result, the metal canisters housing the airbags can blow apart. Vehicle occupants have been catastrophically injured or killed by high-speed metal shrapnel. More than 180 people in the US have been hurt by shrapnel from exploding Takata airbag inflators. The risk posed by Takata defective inflators is especially acute in Florida, a state known for excessive heat and humidity.

Takata’s airbag inflators are responsible for the largest auto recall in US history. According to NHTSA, 34 million vehicles in the US are currently under recall for 46 million defective Takata airbags. These airbags are used in vehicles sold by some of the largest domestic and international automakers. Millions of vehicles that contain Takata airbags are still being driven on roads across the country.

Takata airbag lawsuits from across the country have been consolidated in Miami, Florida. Curtis Miner, a partner at Colson Hicks Eidson, is the Lead Counsel for the Personal Injury Track in the Takata airbag product liability multidistrict litigation (MDL). If you have questions about the Takata airbag recall or if you have been affected by this defective product, please contact our office for a free consultation.