US: safety officials investigating possible Takata airbag victim image

The US auto safety regulators have recently announced they are probing the possibility that a seventh fatality might be linked to the faulty Takata Corp. airbag inflators.

The case involves a Louisiana woman who succumbed in her 2005 Honda Civic after she impacted a utility pole in the early hours of April 5. The victims’ family, 22-year-old Kylan Rae Langlinais, sued this week in a US District Court, alleging the vehicle’s Takata driver-side air bag exploded on impact, and the metal debris were sent at high velocity inside the cabin, severing the woman’s carotid artery – she died because of the wound four days later. The case has been brought against both Honda, the manufacturer and Japan’s Takata, the provider of the safety component that is claimed to have malfunctioned. The incident is brought to public attention in the aftermath of the recent federal auto safety regulator and Takata announcement that defective airbags in almost 34 million autos are now being recalled in the US, with a total of 53 million worldwide.

The faulty airbag inflators can explode with too much force and send metal shards and other debris flying at high velocity inside the passenger compartment, with six deaths so far linked to the safety crisis. The first recalls were ordered back in 2008 and the safety campaigns escalated since last year. “We are aware of the crash and we are gathering information from the manufacturer and from the attorneys representing the victim’s family,” commented a representative of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Via Reuters