Takata Airbag Death Toll at 9

The Takata airbag death toll increased to 9 with the announcement of a teen killed by an inflator.

Posted in News

— The Takata airbag death toll increased by one as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced another death from an exploding Takata airbag inflator.

It's the eighth confirmed Takata-related death in the U.S., with a ninth death having occurred in Malaysia. All of the fatalities occurred in Honda vehicles.

NHTSA says the death occurred to a teenage boy who was behind the wheel of a 2001 Honda Accord. Early reports suggest the boy was only 13 and had taken the car for an unauthorized joy ride, running off the road and striking a tree.

Under the previous owner, the car was recalled in February 2010 for the Takata driver’s front airbag inflator. Honda made numerous attempts to contact the previous owner from 2010 through 2012, but records indicate the necessary recall repairs were not completed.

Honda mailed an additional recall notice to the current owner of the vehicle on July 21, 2015, one day before the fatal crash.

A similar death occurred in a Honda vehicle when Jewel Brangman was killed by an exploding Takata airbag. Her rented 2001 Honda Civic had been recalled to replace the airbag inflator, but the vehicle had never been repaired.

NHTSA says millions of vehicles still need repairs months after the recalls were ordered. Some of the problem is related to a lack of replacement inflators, but there is also the big issue of consumers ignoring the recalls. As of December 4, 2015, about 27 percent of driver's side airbag inflators have been replaced nationwide, with the completion rate hitting 34 percent in high humidity states.

The moist air is thought to cause the explosive chemical in the airbags to explode when the airbags deploy. The chemical, ammonium nitrate, can become unstable over time when affected by heat and humidity.

An automaker can only go so far in trying to convince a car owner to take the car to the shop for repairs. Honda has went to incredible trouble and expense with advertising campaigns to convince owners to get the cars repaired for free. But many owners continue to ignore the warnings and then sell the cars to consumers who don't know about the airbag recalls.

Honda continues to urge owners of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls to get their vehicles repaired at dealers as soon as possible. Honda and Acura owners can check their vehicles’ recall status at www.recalls.honda.com for Honda owners or www.recalls.acura.com for Acura owners or by calling their dealer.

Separately, NHTSA said hundreds of thousands of additional vehicles will be recalled after tests showed problems with the Takata inflators. The latest additions and revisions to the airbag recalls include the 2005-2008 Mazda Mazda6, 2002-2004 Honda CR-V and the 2005-2008 Subaru Legacy and Outback.

And finally, the government announced the hiring of attorney John D. Buretta to monitor the Takata recalls. A partner at the law firm of Cravath, Swain & Moore, Buretta's task will be to assist NHTSA with oversight of the airbag recalls and to make sure Takata abides by court orders.

As of December 23, 2015, the following vehicles are part of the Takata airbag recalls:

BMW / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2000 BMW 328i
  • 2001-2006 BMW M3
  • 2002-2003 BMW M5
  • 2000 BMW 323i
  • 2002-2006 BMW 325Ci
  • 2002-2006 BMW 330Ci
  • 2002-2003 BMW 325iT
  • 2002-2003 BMW 325XiT
  • 2001-2006 BMW 325i
  • 2001-2005 BMW 325Xi
  • 2001-2006 BMW330i
  • 2001-2005 BMW 330Xi
  • 2002-2003 BMW 525i
  • 2002-2003 BMW 530i
  • 2002-2003 BMW 540i
  • 2003 BMW X5 3.0i
  • 2003 BMW X5 4.4i

FCA (Chrysler) / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2007-2008 Chrysler Aspen
  • 2005-2010 Chrysler 300
  • 2005-2010 Chrysler 300C
  • 2005-2010 Chrysler SRT8
  • 2008-2010 Dodge Challenger
  • 2006-2010 Dodge Charger
  • 2005-2011 Dodge Dakota
  • 2004-2008 Dodge Durango
  • 2005-2008 Dodge Magnum
  • 2003-2009 Dodge Ram 1500
  • 2003-2009 Dodge Ram 2500
  • 2003-2009 Dodge Ram 3500
  • 2008-2010 Dodge Ram 4500
  • 2008-2010 Dodge Ram 5500

Daimler Trucks North America / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2008-2009 Sterling Bullet 4500
  • 2008-2009 Sterling Bullet 5500

Daimler Vans USA / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2007-2008 Dodge Sprinter 2500
  • 2007-2008 Dodge Sprinter 3500
  • 2007-2008 Freightliner Sprinter 2500
  • 2007-2008 Freightliner Sprinter 3500

Ford / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2004-2006 Ford Ranger
  • 2005-2006 Ford GT
  • 2005-2014 Ford Mustang

General Motors / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2007-2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
  • 2007-2008 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
  • 2007-2008 GMC Sierra 2500
  • 2007-2008 GMC Sierra 3500
  • 2003-2007 Pontiac Vibe
  • 2005 Saab 9-2x

Honda / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2001-2007 Honda Accord
  • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
  • 2003-2005 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2001-2004 Honda Civic CNG
  • 2002-2006 Honda CR-V
  • 2003-2011 Honda Element
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003-2008 Honda Pilot
  • 2006 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
  • 2005 Acura RL

Mazda / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2004-2006 Mazda B-Series Truck
  • 2003-2008 Mazda Mazda6
  • 2005-2007 Mazda Mazdaspeed6
  • 2004-2005 Mazda MPV
  • 2004-2008 Mazda RX-8

Mitsubishi / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2004-2006 Mitsubishi Lancer
  • 2004-2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
  • 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
  • 2006-2009 Mitsubishi Mitsubishi Raider

Nissan / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2001-2003 Nissan Maxima
  • 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra
  • 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2001 Infiniti I30
  • 2003-2005 Infiniti FX35
  • 2003-2005 Infiniti FX45
  • 2002-2004 Infiniti I35
  • 2006 Infiniti M35
  • 2006 Infiniti M45
  • 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4

Subaru / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2003-2005 Subaru Baja
  • 2004-2005 Subaru Impreza
  • 2003-2008 Subaru Legacy
  • 2003-2008 Subaru Outback

Toyota / Takata Airbag Recalls

  • 2003-2007 Toyota Corolla
  • 2003-2007 Toyota Corolla Matrix
  • 2004-2005 Toyota Rav4
  • 2002-2007 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2003-2006 Toyota Tundra
  • 2002-2007 Lexus SC