Honda US confirms 17th worldwide Takata airbag-related death

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Another person has died as a result of an exploding Takata airbag, though in this case the vehicle involved wasn't even in a crash.

Honda said on Monday that the victim was using a hammer to fix a 2001 Accord parked at a home near Miami in June 2016. Honda said the vehicle was parked but the ignition switch was on, with the airbags activated.

Takata expanding its recall to include another 2.7 million air bag inflators in the United States that may be prone to rupturing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Tuesday.

In the event of an inflator rupture, metal fragments could pass through the airbag cushion material, which may result in injury or death to vehicle occupants.

The company that makes them is now adding nearly 3-million cars to its recall.

At least 17 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide are now tied to the defect that prompted the largest ever auto safety recall and led Takata to file for bankruptcy protection last month.

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Honda stressed Monday that it has enough replacement inflators to fix every Honda and Acura with a recalled Takata airbag (particularly the Alphas) - for free.

Takata has filed for bankruptcy in the USA and Japan after the largest recall in US history.

Honda said it was recently made aware of the death. The OEM noted that 12 recall notices were sent since 2009 to the Accord's registered owners. "That's why government regulators need to step up the pace of figuring out whether all remaining Takata airbag inflators are safe". The incident occurred in Hialeah, Florida.

The NHTSA said 2001-2003 model Honda and Acura vehicles have as high as a 50 per cent chance of a unsafe air bag inflator rupture in a crash. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs. About 46 million Takata air bags in 29 million cars have already been called back, with another 20 million to 25 million additional air bags set to be recalled with the next couple of years.

Scott Caudill, chief operating officer of TK Holdings, Takata's USA unit, said in a court affidavit last month in its bankruptcy filing that the company "faces insurmountable claims" relating to the recalls and owes billions of dollars to automakers.

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