U.S. government confirms 11th death due to Takata airbags

Federal officials confirmed an 11th death linked to the deployment of faulty Takata airbags, which have been shown to explode and send shrapnel into the bodies of people in cars. The airbags have been used in about 70 million vehicles made by 14 manufacturers, making their recall one of the most complicated in automotive history. Photo by Pat Rizio/Flickr

DETROIT, Oct. 21 (UPI) — The brand of airbag found in most car brands for several years has claimed another life, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed an 11th death tied to the faulty airbag systems behind the most complicated recall in automotive history.

The federal agency said a 50-year-old woman in Riverside County, Calif., died as a result of injuries linked to the Takata airbag that inflated during a traffic crash in September.

The woman was driving a 2001 Honda Civic, one of 22 car brands that have been recalled during the last eight years, but a repair was never made. The Civic is one of five Honda brands recalled because of the faulty airbags, which were installed in 22 car brands made by 14 automakers.

In all, about 70 million airbag inflators made by Takata will be recalled by 2019 because they are known to explode, sending shrapnel flying into the bodies of people in car accidents. Vehicles in hot, humid areas are especially at risk for explosion, experts say.

The defective Takata airbags were used in roughly one out of every seven cars on the road today. Most of the 11 people who have died as a result of the faulty bags were driving Honda or Acura vehicles manufactured between 2001 and 2003.

Recalls of vehicles with the airbags started in 2008. While many people are still driving the vehicles around, officials at the NHTSA say people should stop driving them immediately to have the airbags replaced due to the huge risk to life they pose.


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