Honda Motor stated on Friday it had confirmed a 16th U.S. death has been connected to a defective Takata air bag inflator.
The Japanese automaker stated that following a joint inspection Friday with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) it had confirmed a defective air bag inflator was to blame for a June 2018 death of a driver following the crash of a 2002 Honda Civic that took place in Buckeye, Arizona.
The defect, that leads in rare instances to air bag inflators rupturing and sending metal fragments flying, has urged the largest automotive recall in U.S. history and is connected to 14 U.S. deaths in Honda vehicles and two in Ford Motor vehicles since 2009.
The last confirmed death in the United States before this incident was the July 2017 death of a 34-year-old Florida woman.
Another seven deaths have been verified in Honda vehicles with defective Takata air bag inflators in Malaysia, while a crash death in Australia in a Honda which is still going under investigation.
Over 290 injuries international have been connected to Takata inflators that could explode. Overall, 19 automakers are recalling over 100 million possibly defective inflators worldwide.
To date, 56 million inflators have been recalled in the United States in 41.6 million vehicles. Takata, which pleaded guilty to a felony charge of wire fraud to sort out a U.S. Justice Department investigation, filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2017.
In the latest fatal crash death, Honda stated the Civic had been under recall since December 2014 and no less 12 recall notices were sent to prior registered owners, but the recall repairs were not completed.
The driver killed had bought the Civic less than three months before the crash. Honda stated it was unaware of the ownership change and was unable to send recall notices to the newest owner.
Previously this month, Honda stated it would recall another 1.2 million Honda and Acura vehicles in North America to replace faulty Takata airbags on the driver’s side. The company became aware of the issue following a Honda Odyssey crash, where the front airbag deployed and harmed the driver’s arm.