Tenth U.S. Death Tied to Takata Recall Prompts Renewed Calls for Action| Edmunds

Tenth U.S. Death Tied to Takata Recall Prompts Renewed Calls for Action


WASHINGTON — The tenth U.S. death linked to defective Takata airbag inflators has prompted calls for consumers to get affected vehicles repaired at authorized dealers as soon as possible.

A 17-year-old female driving a 2002 Honda Civic died after sustaining injuries in a crash on March 31 in Fort Bend County, Texas, according to American Honda Motor Co. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Civic involved in the crash was first recalled in 2011 and the recall repair was not completed, Honda said in a statement provided to Edmunds.

"Honda currently has sufficient supplies of replacement inflators to complete the required repairs under the open recall that affects this vehicle and we continue to encourage all owners of affected vehicles to seek repair immediately," the company said.

Honda has confirmed nine deaths and more than 100 injuries in the U.S. related to Takata airbag driver's front inflator ruptures in the field. Another death occurred in late 2015 in a 2006 Ford Ranger.

NHTSA said the latest death "highlights that the conventional approach to recall notification alone is inadequate."

It called on all affected automakers to "intensify and expand their outreach to affected vehicle owners."

"NHTSA further urges consumers who own a vehicle under airbag recall to get this dangerous potential defect repaired as soon as possible," it said.

Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) described the defective Takata airbag inflators as "automotive IEDs," in a statement on Wednesday.

"We cannot allow this deadly delay in recalls to continue," they said. "We must recall every single vehicle with a Takata airbag and NHTSA must accelerate the recall of these dangerous airbags to prevent yet another unnecessary and tragic death."

Takata issued an apology to the driver's family in the latest death on Wednesday.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the driver's family in light of this tragic death," Takata said.

It added: "Takata strongly urges all consumers to check NHTSA's Safercar.gov website and contact their dealers immediately if they discover their vehicle is subject to a recall."

Edmunds says: This tragic event should be a call to action for consumers. It's time to schedule a dealership service appointment if your vehicle is included in the Takata airbag recall.

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