Honda Motor Co has widened its recall for the defective airbags by another 170,000 vehicles globally, taking its total recalls to nearly 10 million vehicles fitted with potentially defective Takata airbag inflators since 2008, including US region-specific recalls.
The Japanese carmaker said on November 13 that a driver in Malaysia died in July after being hit by shrapnel from an airbag supplied by Takata Corp – the fifth such fatality and the first outside the United States.
Before Thursday’s disclosure, Takata airbags had been linked to four deaths in Honda vehicles in the US. All the victims were hit by shrapnel ejected by the airbag.
Defective Takata airbags are the target of a US safety investigation over the risk they could explode with dangerous force in an accident and shoot metal shards into the vehicle. More than 17 million vehicles made by nearly a dozen different automakers have been recalled globally for flawed Takata airbags since 2008.
In the Malaysia accident on July 27, involving a 2003 Honda City model, the air bag inflator ruptured and sent shrapnel into the vehicle, some of which struck the female driver, Honda said.
Honda learned of the incident on August 27 and notified Japan’s transport ministry on September 10.