Biggest Recall in US Auto History Gets Bigger

Biggest Recall in US Auto History Gets Bigger

Japanese auto parts company Takata (TKTDF) is recalling an additional 2.7 million airbag inflators in the US, after the company determined they could explode in the event of a crash despite the use of a chemical additive to make sure of their safety.

Honda says a man died in June 2016 when an inflator ruptured while he was working inside a 2001 Honda Accord using a hammer. Ramon V. Kuffo, 88, who did not own the vehicle but had taken apart the center console with the ignition switch on, died of head trauma a day after a neighbor found him bleeding from the face in the passenger seat of the auto parked in his yard near Miami, Fla., reports the Detroit News.

The company said photos from a local police report indicate the inflator exploded and shot out metal fragments, but it remains unclear if this shrapnel caused the injuries the man died from the next day.

A company spokesman said the man had taken apart the car's center console, although it's not exactly clear what he was working on.

It's the 12th USA death attributed to the faulty inflators and 17th worldwide, including five in Malaysia.

The recall, which comes in addition to the 42 million inflators Takata previously recalled, covers airbag inflators made from 2005 to 2012 and used in certain Nissan, Mazda, and Ford vehicles. Takata inflators can explode with too much force when exposed to prolonged airborne moisture and hot-and-cold temperature cycles. "That's why government regulators need to step up the pace of figuring out whether all remaining Takata airbag inflators are safe".

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Honda is again urging consumers who own a recalled vehicles to contact the company and get a replacement immediately. The owner had received 12 recall notices.

Honda urged owners who have received recall notices to get repairs made as soon as possible, especially those with the most unsafe type of inflator.

The latter happened near Miami, Florida, in June of 2016 and, unfortunately, the airbag the person triggered happened to be a recalled Takata unit, which was filled with ammonium nitrate propellent known to explode violently after being exposed to high humidity. Those models are the 2001 and 2002 Accord and Civic, the 2002 CR-V and Odyssey, the 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL, the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL and the 2003 Pilot. "Our records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle", Honda said in a statement.

Separately, a federal judge in Detroit on Monday said he planned to name law professor Eric D Green to oversee $975 million in compensation funds for Takata air bag victims and automakers.

The company did not specify which vehicles were affected by the recall.

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