The American division of Honda Motor Company has confirmed another death it says is due to faulty Takata airbag inflators.
Honda also is quoted as saying it was "difficult to determine whether the cause of death in this incident was the inflator rupture, or an interaction of the hammer with the deploying air bag".
It remains unclear if the cause of death was the ruptured inflator or the deployed airbag coming into contact with the hammer, according to Honda.
Police photos show the metal airbag inflator exploded and shot out fragments of metal. The company would not release the man's name.
All told, 12 people in the USA and 17 worldwide have been killed by the defective inflators.
Recently bankrupt auto parts maker Takata is once against adding to its roster of potentially risky airbags, this time recalling 2.7 million airbag inflators that could explode violently despite containing a chemical meant to lessen the risk of the shrapnel-shooting ruptures. Martin noted that there is a deceleration sensor that activates the air bags mounted on the wall between the engine and passenger compartment. By this year, the safety agency had extended the recall to cover almost 70 million air bags in 42 million vehicles of many makes and models.
Enlarge Image Shrapnel from a defective Takata unit Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
The auto company said it was recently made aware of the death, which happened in Hialeah, Florida. The defective air bags can explode with too much force and spray shrapnel into the vehicle.
According to Honda, Alpha inflators can have as high as a 50-50 chance of exploding and injuring an occupant.
Honda said the vehicle's registered owners had received at least 12 recall notices but never got recommended repairs.
About 68 million Takata inflators are already scheduled to be recalled through 2019.
While the incident doesn't seem to have occurred in a professional fix setting, it should be a stark reminder for all shops: Follow OEM guidelines not just to protect the vehicle owner, but the technician as well. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs.
Takata announced in late June that it reached a deal worth 175 billion Japanese yen, or $1.59 billion, to sell its remaining global assets and operations to a Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems that is headquartered in Sterling Heights.
Last month, Takata filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy listing liabilities of over 10-billion dollars.
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