— Takata airbag inflators are again the focus of an investigation into the death of a Honda driver in Malaysia, this time involving a 44-year-old woman driving a 2005 Honda City car.
The 2005 Honda City was in a minor accident with a Mercedes-Benz in Petaling Jaya when the single stage driver-side airbag inflator exploded, shooting hot metal into the woman's chest. Investigators say the center of the steering wheel showed bent metal pointed toward the driver.
A 22-year-old passenger and her two children were not injured in the crash.
Honda says the City car was included in recalls of the driver's side and passenger-side airbag inflators and three recall notices were mailed to the owner, but the car was never repaired.
Last week, Honda recalled about 148,000 vehicles in Malaysia to replace front passenger-side airbag inflators.
Recalled Malaysian Honda Cars (Passenger Takata Airbags)
- 2003-2011 Honda Accord
- 2009-2011 Honda City
- 2007-2011 Honda Civic
- 2008-2011 Honda CR-V
- 2009-2011 Honda Freed
- 2011 Honda Insight
- 2009-2011 Honda Jazz
- 2004-2008 Honda Odyssey
In May 2016, it was announced two Malaysian deaths were under investigation after fatal accidents on April 16 and May 1, 2016. Honda says driver's side airbags exploded in two Honda City cars, both that had been recalled to replace Takata airbag inflators, but the cars were never repaired.
Another Honda City was named in a wrongful death lawsuit against Honda and Takata after a woman and her unborn daughter were killed in East Malaysia. Law Suk Leh, 42, was eight months pregnant and allegedly traveling only 20 mph when a minor crash caused the Takata airbag to explode.
Law Suk Leh suffered a severe puncture wound in her neck from a 1-inch diameter piece of metal from the airbag inflator. Although Leh was deceased, her unborn daughter (Elsa Mia Law Caido) was delivered at the hospital but sadly died three days later from injuries sustained in the crash.
According to the lawsuit, Law Suk Leh's 2003 Honda City was recalled after her death.