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& Wilson, LLC Land & Soil Contamination : Vehicle Collisions : Personal Injury

Regulators announce 11th fatality caused by Takata air bags

Regulators in the United States have released a statement saying that they have confirmed the 11th death due to defective Takata air bags in the country. In addition, a total of five possible deaths from Takata air bags were reported in Malaysia, which brings the global death tally to 16. Motorists are therefore being reminded to make sure they check to ensure that their vehicles do not have a pending Takata air bag repair notice associated with them.

The victim of the faulty air bag in this case was a 50-year-old woman who died on Sept. 30 after being involved in an auto collision. The potentially fatal defects related to Takata air bags relate to the way the air bags inflate. An explosive chemical used to inflate the air bags in accident conditions is vulnerable to degradation, particularly in high heat and humid conditions. Once the chemical breaks down it becomes more explosive than intended, causing the air bags to inflate too quickly, and resulting in hot metal fragments exploding into the vehicle compartments. These fragments are potentially deadly like shrapnel, and they can also cause serious injuries.

Honda motors has also confirmed that the deceased woman in this case was operating 2001 Civic at the time of the collision. This make and model Honda was originally recalled back in 2008; however, this woman's car in particular was never repaired. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a recalled vehicle to remain unrepaired.

Vehicle operators in Louisiana who fail to repair their cars could be vulnerable to personal injury lawsuits if their negligence in this regard results in another person's injury. Furthermore, those harmed -- and family members of those who are killed -- by Takata air bags might be able to seek financial restitution in court from negligent manufacturing companies responsible for the defects.

Source: CNBC, "US confirms 11th death linked to faulty Takata air bag inflator," Oct. 20, 2016

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