Man killed by airbag after previous owner ignored recall, Honda says

Honda confirmed that the cause of death was a rupture in the single-stage driver's airbag in a 2004 Honda City in Selangor. — Reuters pic
Honda confirmed that the cause of death was a rupture in the single-stage driver's airbag in a 2004 Honda City in Selangor. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — A man was killed by a ruptured Takata airbag identified as defective, but which Honda Malaysia said the previous owner did not replace under its mandatory recall over the issue since 2015.

The carmaker confirmed the January 1 incident today, saying it concurred with police investigators that the cause of death was a rupture in the single-stage driver's airbag in a 2004 Honda City in Selangor.

“Several notification letters related to the recall were sent out to the then owners of the vehicle based on the information in our database, yet the letters were not sent to the current owner due to the change of ownership.

“Our records indicate that the recall replacement was never completed,” Honda Malaysia said in a statement.

It said the vehicle was also recalled over the passenger side airbag in the same year, and noted that this was similarly not observed.

However, the passenger airbag did not rupture and deployed properly in the incident.

Honda Malaysia stressed that it took pains to ask all affected owners to send their vehicles in for the necessary inspections and replacement, including mailing 2.9 million letters and delivering 2.8 million text messages along with various public announcement and advertisements.

Despite the efforts, it said records showed that as of January 25, 16 per cent of the 221,000 vehicles requiring replacement driver-side airbags have yet to come in for replacement.

The firm then appealed to owners of 2003 to 2008 model year City's to ensure their vehicles have undergone the replacements.

Honda has been affected by a raft of recalls both in Malaysia and elsewhere in the world.

In December, it recalled 49,000 of its Odyssey multi-purpose vehicles and Accord saloons due to possibly defective battery sensors and door mirror assembly.

The firm remains mired in the Takata airbag controversy that forced the Japanese carmaker to recall 5.5 million cars in the US alone so far and 7 millions elsewhere in the world.

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