New Recall by Honda After Death in Malaysia Is Tied to Takata Airbag
The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
As scrutiny intensified from lawmakers and federal prosecutors over defective airbags made by the Takata Corporation, Honda confirmed on Thursday that a driver of one of its cars had died after a Takata airbag exploded. It was the fifth death linked to the defect.
The driver was pregnant when she was killed on July 27 in Malaysia, a Honda spokesman in Kuala Lumpur said on Friday. Her unborn baby also died.
“The driver crashed into another vehicle. The driver’s SRS airbag deployed abnormally, and the inflator case was broken,” Jordhat Johan, head of public relations at Honda Malaysia, said in a telephone interview. “The female driver died on the spot,” Mr. Jordhat added.
He said the car the woman was driving was registered in the sultanate of Brunei and was manufactured in Thailand.
The fatal accident — the first linked to a Takata airbag outside the United States — spurred a new round of recalls of about 170,000 Honda vehicles in Europe and Asia. Those airbags, Honda said, could contain the degraded propellant, or explosive, that is thought to have caused the woman’s airbag to deploy so violently.
The recalls underscored wider quality-control problems at Takata than previously known. The fatal rupture in July involved an airbag made at a now-shuttered Takata factory in Georgia, a plant that has not been cited to American regulators in the manufacturer’s shifting explanations of its airbag problems. The faulty airbags in previous recalls were made at two other Takata plants, in Washington State and Mexico, the company told regulators.
The accident in Malaysia involved a 2003 Honda City, a subcompact made for the Asian and European markets, the Honda spokesman Tsutomu Nakamura said by phone. He said the airbag ruptured and sent metal debris into the driver.