Honda: Two more Takata-linked airbag deaths in Malaysia

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 05 May 2016

This file photo taken on June 15, 2015 shows an airbag of a Honda vehicle displayed in Tokyo. US auto safety regulators on May 4, 2016 ordered Japanese manufacturer Takata to recall between 35 and 40 million airbags installed in US cars, to push for the replacement of dangerously explosive inflators. The decision comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that the inflators are prone to ruptures that have been tied to 11 deaths worldwide, and adds to nearly 29 million Takata airbags already recalled. - AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Two people have died in Malaysia after airbag inflators made by Japan’s Takata exploded, carmaker Honda announced, raising the global toll to 13 in a scandal that has led to the biggest auto recall in US history.  

Tokyo-based auto parts giant Takata is struggling to deal with a defect that can send metal and plastic shrapnel from the inflator canister hurtling toward drivers and passengers when an airbag is deployed.  

The defect has been blamed for grisly injuries that have in some cases proved fatal.  

The latest deaths were reported in April in Sabah and in Kedah in May.  

“Honda has confirmed that the Takata single stage driver’s airbag inflators ruptured in two crashes in April and May respectively in Malaysia,” Honda Malaysia said in a statement Wednesday.  

“Both crashes resulted in the tragic deaths of the drivers,” it said, adding that the official cause of death in the the incidents, both involving Honda City cars, had yet to be determined.  

The auto giant also said that it had issued a recall notice for the Honda City vehicles in 2014 and 2015 requiring the driver’s front airbag inflators to be replaced.  

In 2014, a pregnant Malaysian and her unborn baby died when a Takata airbag malfunctioned.  

Some 50 million Takata airbags have been recalled globally, including about 29 million in the United States, where regulators on Wednesday said they expected 35 and 40 million more airbags to be added to the list.  

Investigators increasingly suspect that the chemical used to inflate Takata airbags can be unstable, especially in hot and humid conditions, and cause the inflator canister to rupture.  - AFP

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