Of many things one would expect to endanger a driver on the roadway, no one would imagine someone’s death to be caused by an exploding airbag. Generally, the purpose of an airbag in a vehicle is solely on safety, especially during a collision. Such was the case with a driver from South Carolina, who was the latest victim of an exploding airbag inflator.
The driver was killed by the exploding Takata airbag in the Honda Accord model
According to a report, it was confirmed by the Japanese carmaker that the owner of the 2002 Honda Accord, who was killed during a road collision near Charlotte, North Carolina, on the 9th of January, 2021. From what we learnt, the airbag inflator of the car blew apart on impact. At the time, Honda was unable to identify the driver that was killed.
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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Honda officials during inspection confirmed that the inflator was ruptured. With this recent incident, the death toll has risen to 19 in the United States since the 2009 Takata airbag scandal. It also means 19 people have died from the Takata airbag inflator globally.
The Takata airbag inflators made use of ammonium nitrate to form an explosion in order to get the airbags inflated during a crash. However, its exposure to humidity and moisture can make the chemical become volatile during heavy impact. As a result, this explosion can get the metal canister blown apart and send shrapnel flying into the passenger’s compartment.
Here is a video showing a teenager that was killed by an exploding airbag.
Teen killed by exploding airbag
The automaker claims that the car was recalled in 2011 but from records, the recall repair wasn't completed. The person behind the wheel at the time of the crash wasn't the registered owner of the Honda Accord. They also stated it is unknown if the victim was aware of the unrepaired recall. From what we learnt, the present owner was sent a notice in November 2020 on a possible recall but turned deaf ear to it.
To avoid the recurrence of such fatality, Honda has called on every affected vehicle to complete their recall repairs. To do this, they should type their vehicle’s VIN into the column provided on nhtsa.gov/recalls.