The driver of a 2002 Honda Accord has been killed after a faulty airbag exploded.
A faulty Takata airbag has caused yet another fatality after one person died in a crash involving a 2002 Honda Accord. This is despite the brand going to great lengths to try and reach the last customers with unattended recalls on their cars, even reaching out with cartoon-style notices to catch owners' attention.
This is the fourth Takata rupture-related death in 2022, bringing the total death toll to 23 in the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now urging motorists to check their vehicles for the open Takata recall. The government agency notes that older models put their occupants at higher risk, as the age of the airbag system is a contributing factor.
Even smaller crashes can cause the airbag to explode, reports the NHTSA.
"Whatever you're doing, stop now and check to see if your vehicle has a Takata airbag recall. If it does, make an appointment to get your free repair as soon as possible," said the NHTSA's Ann Carlson.
"If this airbag ruptures in a crash, it could kill you or someone you love, or leave them with critical, life-altering injuries. Every day that passes when you don't get a recalled airbag replaced puts you and your family at greater risk of injury or death."
According to Reuters, Honda states the vehicle involved in the fatal accident had been recalled in 2011. Honda attempted to contact the owner, who bought the vehicle in 2008, more than 300 times, but the repair was never carried out.
Earlier this year, the NHTSA reported that the driver of a 2006 Ford Ranger was also killed by a faulty Takata airbag inflator. The American automaker said it sent more than 100 recall notices to the owner's home, but to no avail.
"We are urging all remaining affected owners not to drive these vehicles and to contact Ford to schedule a free repair," remarked a company spokesperson at the time.
The NHTSA is urging all vehicle owners to check if their vehicle is affected and, if so, have the car sent to a dealership to be repaired as soon as possible.
While automakers go to exhaustive measures to alert motorists, it's not always easy to reach individuals. This is evidenced by the tragic death of a 2002 Honda Civic driver in 2018. The vehicle had only been purchased three months prior to the fatal accident, meaning the driver was unaware of the recall. What's more, Honda would have been unaware of the change of ownership.
Accounting for this type of situation, Honda has resorted to a plethora of communication channels, even sending out the aforementioned comics to try an off-beat approach. This was to try and reach the final 9% of affected vehicle owners - as of July of this year.
The deadly airbag scandal killed Takata off for good, but not before the automotive parts supplier was forced to cough up $1 billion in settlement fees for its transgressions. An airbag is supposed to save lives, not claim them, and, tragically, 33 deaths globally have been linked to these faulty systems. Sadly, many of these deaths could have been prevented if the company was transparent in the first place.