Exploding Airbag Kills Man Repairing 2001 Honda Accord

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Another person has died as a result of an exploding Takata airbag, though in this case the vehicle involved wasn't even in a crash. Hien Thi Tran was killed in 2013 after a auto accident.

NHTSA estimates that Honda has fixed almost 60 percent of all the recalled airbags within its own and Acura vehicles - but that still leaves millions of inflators needing a fix.

At least 17 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide are now linked to the issue. The company said the person was using a hammer while the ignition switch was in the "on" position. It would not release the man's name.

"For years now, Takata has told the public that their line of air bag inflators with moisture absorbent was safe". The owner had received 12 recall notices.

The company said photos from a local police report indicate the inflator exploded and shot out metal fragments, but it remains unclear if this shrapnel caused the injuries the man died from the next day.

The 2001 Accord has one of the most unsafe types of Takata driver's side air bag inflators.

While the centre console was being dismantled, the tool triggered the activation of the airbag inflator, which then ruptured upon deployment.

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The Honda Accord was among a group of more than 300,000 unrepaired recalled Honda vehicles equipped with inflators with a substantial risk of rupturing.

According to The Detroit News, a man was performing an unknown fix inside a 2001 Honda Accord previous year when the airbag deployed. The problem touched off the largest automotive recall in US history, involving 42 million vehicles and 69 million air bag inflators.

Honda urged owners who have received recall notices to get repairs made as soon as possible, especially those with the most unsafe type of inflator. The twist this time, however, is that the incident didn't occur during a crash, but while the vehicle was in a shop being repaired.

The airbags on the following Hondas models have up to a 50% chance of exploding in a crash: 2001 and 2002 Accord and Civic, the 2002 CR-V and Odyssey, the 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL, the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL and the 2003 Pilot.

Of the deaths linked to Takata's inflators, 16 took place in Honda vehicles since May 2009, including five in Malaysia using a different type of Takata inflator, while one death occurred in a Ford Motor Co vehicle in SC in December 2015. But Honda vastly expanded the recall to cover more than 2 million vehicles by 2011.

Facing billions of dollars in losses and court settlements, Takata declared bankruptcy last month.

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