The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has now confirmed that another U.S. driver has been killed by a faulty Takata airbag. The accident, which occurred in Riverside, California, marks the eleventh American death attributed to the faulty safety feature.
As Reuters reports, authorities have identified 50-year-old California resident Delia Robles as the victim. Robles was driving a 2001 Honda Civic at the time of her death, a car model that has been flagged for recalls numerous times since 2008 for its faulty airbag.
Takata Corp. is currently scrambling to deal the unprecedented scale of its airbag recall, which has affected over a dozen major automakers worldwide. In a statement, a company spokesperson said that the tragic death of Delia Robles “underscores the importance of replacing those airbag inflators that have been recalled by automakers.”
UNPRECEDENTED RECALL IN PROGRESS
It is believed that more than 30 million cars in the U.S. have the potentially faulty Takata airbags installed—with more than 20 million still needing replacing. The airbags, which use a precise chemical reaction to deploy during an accident, have shown that they often inflate with too much force, sending dangerous shrapnel through the cabin of the car.
In its latest press release, the NHTSA reiterated that older Honda vehicles, in particular, appear to be more susceptible to this dangerous reaction. Nine of the 11 U.S. deaths linked to the airbags have occurred in 2001-2003 model Honda and Acura vehicles. Earlier this year, the NHTSA also revealed that 17 automakers will be forced to recall 35-40 million more affected U.S. cars by 2019.
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