A Florida driver was recently killed in a car crash involving an exploding Takata air bag inflator. The driver was operating a 2002 Honda Accord when the crash occurred and the driver side air bag inflator ruptured.
The cause of death is still currently under investigation, however, if the air bag caused the Florida driver’s death, it would be the 19th death worldwide, and 13th in the United States, where a Takata air bag inflator is blamed.
Takata air bag inflators have been found to explode with too much force and can blow apart a metal canister that causes shrapnel to shoot out into the passenger cabin of a vehicle. These defective air bag inflators have led to the largest automobile recall in U.S. history, with 42 million vehicles being recalled to repair over 69 million Takata inflators.
Honda, one of the largest vehicle manufacturers affected by this defective component, released a statement claiming that it sent 21 notices of the recall by mail to owners of this Honda Accord since 2011, including apparently sending 10 to the owner involved in this Florida accident. Company records appear to show that no repair had yet been made.
Investigators, along with Honda representatives, have determined that the Florida driver’s inflator did, in fact rupture. Honda stated that the Accord models from 2001 – 2003 pose the greatest danger of severe injury or death, and implored other owners to bring theirs in for repair at no cost.
Takata uses an explosive agent called ammonium nitrate to inflate air bags during a collision, but the chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to heat and humidity, making it burn too fast, which can further lead to the metal canister blowing apart.
If you or someone you care about has been injured by a defective airbag during a Florida car accident, it is imperative that you seek the advice of an experienced, skilled Fort Lauderdale attorney to help investigate and determine the potential causes of injury. Retaining a Fort Lauderdale products liability attorney will help that an injured victim’s rights and best interests are adequately protected.