Last month, a Honda Motor model involved in an accident in Florida has been linked to the defective airbag inflators produced by Japan’s Takata Corp. and involved in a global auto safety crisis.
The automotive safety supplier and ten of its auto making clients have been recalling millions of vehicles since 2008 because of airbag inflators that can explode with too much force and send shrapnel inside the cabin at high velocity. According to police and hospital reports, in an accident involving a 2003 Honda Civic the car’s airbag exploded and a piece of metal struck the driver’s neck, later removed after an emergency surgery. The hospital’s report stated “an airbag deployed sending foreign body toward patient”, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet confirmed the incident involved a well known instance of airbag rupture. “If it is confirmed that this is another rupture, then it would simply reinforce the reasons that we are working so hard to get these air bags remedied as quickly as we can,” commented a NHTSA spokesperson. The victim’s lawyer, who intends to sue at a later date, has commented that Honda has initiated a safety inspection.
Honda, the third largest Japanese automaker is Takata’s biggest client and hence has the largest tally of recalled vehicles – additionally all deceased victims linked to the automotive supplier’s defective parts have occurred in Honda or Acura vehicles. While Takat has not yet determined the root cause of the faulty airbags, the ten automaker implicated have already set up their independent assessment investigations, working besides the one from US safety regulators.