July 10, 2017: American Honda notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that a man died in June 2016 when a driver side air bag inflator ruptured while he was attempting to make repairs on a 2001 Honda Accord.
The incident happened at private residence in Hialeah, Fla. Honda said that the rupture “occurred while an individual, who was not the vehicle owner, was attempting to perform unknown repairs inside the vehicle using a hammer while the ignition switch was in the “on” position. This triggered activation of the airbag inflator, which ruptured during deployment of the air bag. The individual died the next day from injuries sustained when the air bag deployed.” Full Honda statement
“This latest tragedy is a reminder of the serious nature of this recall,” NHTSA emphasized in a statement to the media. “As previously reported, Takata air bag inflators in certain model-year 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles show a far higher risk of ruptures during air-bag deployment. It’s essential to safety that high-risk inflators are replaced immediately. Vehicle owners should visit www.nhtsa.gov to see if their vehicle is affected and if it is, take steps to get the free repair.”
Honda also emphasized the risk surrounding the so-called “Alpha” inflators in some of its 2001-2003 models, and urged owners to immediately check for open recalls and, If replacement is required, to contact a dealer to schedule the free repair. Any concerned customer can also contact Honda’s Automobile Customer Service at 888-234-2138.
Of the 12 confirmed U.S. deaths linked to faulty Takata air bag inflators, 11 have involved Honda vehicles.