Honda said a Takata driver-side airbag ruptured in a fatal accident in Malaysia, potentially raising the number of deaths to 15 worldwide.
According to local media reports, a driver of a 2005 Honda City was killed in an accident on Sunday in the Malaysian state of Selangor and the front airbag was found ruptured following the crash. Honda said it had the confirmation from the police that the inflator was found torn apart, but the cause of death has not yet been determined. The automaker also mentioned that the car involved was part of a recall issued in May 2015 that required the replacement of airbags, adding that three recall notices were sent to the owner, but the parts have not been replaced.
If this is confirmed, the fatality in question would be the third one this year in Malaysia involving Honda City cars with defective airbags made by Takata, after another driver was killed in July 2014 after a similar rupture in a 2003 model. The latest deadly incidents in the Southeast Asian country – which are still under investigation – took place on April 16 and May 1, in the states of Sabah and Kedah. Ten drivers have died in the US and another one in India, while Honda has recalled over 50 million vehicles worldwide over the faulty airbags, that are also accountable for hundreds of injuries.
Honda’s local branch recalled last week 147,894 domestically made vehicles to replace the front passenger airbag inflators, bringing the total number of the brand’s recalled cars in Malaysia to 329,059. The models affected by the latest safety campaign were 2003-2011 Accord, 2009-2011 City, 2007-2011 Civic, 2008-2011 CR-V, 2009-2011 Freed, 2011 Insight, 2009-2011 Jazz and 2004-2008 Odyssey.