The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has confirmed that a 50-year-old woman who recently died in a car accident was killed as a result of a faulty Takata air bag. The woman's unfortunate death marks the 11th Takata air bag caused death in the United States thus far.
According to the NHTSA, which confirmed the death of the woman last Thursday, another five individuals may have died from the defective safety devices in Malaysia as well, which would bring the total global death toll up to 16. The NHTSA says that the woman passed away in late September after being involved in a California car crash outside of Los Angeles.
Honda Motor Co. does not dispute the death of the woman, and has confirmed that she was operating a 2001 Honda Civic when the incident occurred. Honda released a statement saying that it offered its deepest sympathies and thoughts to the woman's family members.
The problem with Takata air bags relates to the way they inflate with excessive force, leading to an interior rupture that spews hot metal shrapnel into the vehicle's compartments. Those metal fragments can leave the casing with so much force that they can be fatal. The explosive chemical used to inflate the bags is vulnerable to degradation when too much humidity and heat are present and this can result in it burning quicker than intended, leading to the dangerous explosion.
Washington residents who suspect that they were injured, or their loved one was killed, due to defective Takata air bags may have strong claims to seek personal injury damages in court. A consultation with a personal injury attorney can reveal whether a specific incident has sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of such an injury claim in court.
Source: ABC News, "US Confirms 11th Death Due to Takata Air Bags," Tom Krisher, Oct. 20, 2016