Published: Wed, July 12, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

Takata Recalling Another 2.7 Million Faulty Airbags

Takata Recalling Another 2.7 Million Faulty Airbags

This time, the vehicle was not even on the road.

The unnamed person was conducting repairs inside a 2001 Honda Accord on June 18, 2016, in Hialeah when the driver-side airbag deployed. Ramon V. Kuffo, 88, who did not own the vehicle but had taken apart the center console with the ignition switch on, died of head trauma a day after a neighbor found him bleeding from the face in the passenger seat of the auto parked in his yard near Miami, Fla., reports the Detroit News.

It remains unclear if the cause of death was the ruptured inflator or the deployed airbag coming into contact with the hammer, according to Honda.

NHTSA estimates that Honda has fixed almost 60 percent of all the recalled airbags within its own and Acura vehicles - but that still leaves millions of inflators needing a fix.

Accounting for this latest fatality, the deaths of 17 people globally - including 12 in the U.S. - have been linked to the defective inflators, while more than 180 US-based injuries have been related to the issue. "This recall now raises serious questions about the threat posed by all of Takata's ammonium nitrate-based airbags", said Sen. "It's essential to safety that high-risk inflaters are replaced immediately".

Honda said it might be impossible to determine what actually triggered the airbag.

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Separately, a federal judge in Detroit on Monday said he planned to name law professor Eric D Green to oversee $975 million in compensation funds for Takata air bag victims and automakers. Worldwide, 100 million of the Takata inflators have been recalled. The owner had received 12 recall notices.

The problems with Takata's air bags emerged in 2008, when Honda first recalled 4,000 vehicles - including the 2001 Accord model that killed the person in Florida - that used Takata air bag parts.

"On average, more than 500 recalled Honda and Acura vehicles are receiving estimates and triggering notifications through this system every day", Honda wrote.

Takata has filed for bankruptcy in the USA and Japan after the largest recall in US history. Last month Takata filed for bankruptcy protection in both Japan and the US and most of its assets were bought by rival Key Safety Systems.

Takata representatives in NY did not respond on Monday to a request for comment. Another five deaths were disclosed globally.

Green, who teaches at Harvard, has served as a mediator in many major cases, including the US Microsoft antitrust case, and now serves as a Justice Department monitor overseeing the implementation of billions of dollars in consumer relief linked to settlements with banks stemming from the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

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