PETALING JAYA, June 27 — A mother of two was killed when her Honda City steering wheel airbag activated during a minor collision with a Mercedes Benz in Uptown Kota Damansara yesterday.
A projectile from the airbag is believed to have pierced Norazlin Haron, 44, in the chest in the 12.30pm incident.
The freak incident comes four days after Honda Malaysia announced it was ordering a recall of more than 145,000 models here over issues related to drivers’ airbags.
This latest tragedy brings to four the number of fatalities reported locally in recent years in what has been described as a rupture of single stage driver’s airbag inflators (SSDI).
Sungai Buloh Fire and Rescue Department senior officer Rosdi Hainan, whose team responded to the emergency call, said the victim was found gasping for air in the driver’s seat.
“There was an injury on her chest which was oozing blood. The steering wheel airbag had been activated,” he said.
“A projectile may have been discharged when the airbag was deployed and it struck her chest.”
The housewife from Batu Caves died minutes after the incident in her car. Her remains were taken to the Sungai Buloh Hospital for post-mortem.
Norazlin was driving from her home in Taman Seri Gombak to Uptown Kota Damansara when it grazed the Mercedes Benz in Jalan Teknologi.
Her niece, 22, was seated in the front passenger seat while her sons, aged nine and 12, were in the back. They escaped unhurt but were visibly shaken.
Petaling Jaya police chief ACP Zani Che Din declined comment on the cause of death as police are awaiting an autopsy report.
He said the driver of the Mercedes and his wife, both 35, were unhurt.
On Thursday, it was reported Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd ordered a recall of 147,894 vehicles to replace the front passenger airbag inflator.
The models involved were the Accord, with the years of manufacture between 2003-2011, City (2009-2011), Civic (2007-2011), CR-V (2008-2011), Freed (2009-2011), Insight (2011), Jazz (2009-2011) and Odyssey (2004-2008).
Honda had confirmed two similar fatal incidents in April and May in Sabah and Kedah respectively.
“The deaths in both incidents were linked to the steering wheel activation during accidents,” it said in a statement last month.
In November 2014, a 43-year old pregnant housewife and her unborn foetus were killed while travelling in her Honda City in Sibu.
The car she was driving was involved in a collision with another vehicle which activated the airbag causing a projectile to strike her in the neck.