An eight death has been linked to the faulty Takata airbag inflator last week as the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced, registering it as the first reported death since April and the ninth at a global level.
NHTSA stated that a former U.S. Justice Department official was delegated to oversee the airbag recall and how the Japanese supplier would agree to a settlement. Gordon Trowbridge, spokesman for NHTSA, explained that the death took place in July and that the vehicle was a 2001 Honda Accord from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The victim was a teenager who ended up in hospital after a Takata airbag ruptured, and unfortunately died a few days after that. Sources familiar with the matter said that the deceased person was a 13-year-old boy who took the car keys without permission from his parents and drove the car away. The vehicle went off road into the woods in Mercer County Pennsylvania at 4:46 according to a summation from the Pennsylvania State Police.
The car model went down around 315 feet before it hit a fallen tree. The public statement does not mention the Takata airbag, but only that the driver was intoxicated. Pennsylvania officials refused to release an official report of the accident.
The NHTSA spokesman announced that Honda, Subaru and Mazda Motor Corp will add to a big recall campaign a few hundred thousand car models to be checked for inflator testing, with the possibility of other carmakers joining in as well.
Up to this point, all the nine deaths, which include a pregnant woman in Malaysia passing away, took place in Honda cars.