The driver of a 2002 Honda Accord suffered serious injuries following the rupture of a faulty Takata airbag inflator during an accident in Las Vegas last month. According to Honda, the inflator had most likely been salvaged from a junkyard, as opposed to being installed by a professional.
A police report indicates that the inflator rupture caused a puncture wound to the victim’s trachea during a rear-end collision. Takata’s faulty inflators are said to have caused at least sixteen deaths and in excess of 180 injuries around the world, and the issue has resulted in an international recall of approximately 100 million inflators by many global automakers.
Last year, federal regulators indicated that inflators found in 2001-03 model Honda and Acura vehicles are susceptible to up to a 50 percent chance of a threatening rupture in the event of an accident. Takata issued a statement asking people to review information on a government website to find out if the inflators in their vehicles are part of the recall.
Earlier this year, Takata pled guilty to criminal wrongdoing, and agreed to pay $1 billion related to a federal investigation into its faulty inflators. The settlement included an agreement for Takata to establish two independently administered restitution funds. One to compensate automakers for recalls, and one for people who have suffered injuries but have yet to reach a settlement.
Automakers have already recalled 46 million Takata airbag inflators in 29 million vehicles in the United States, while U.S. regulators say that between 64 and 69 million inflators in 42 million vehicles will be recalled by 2019.