The victim, a 50-year-old female, died after sustaining injuries in a crash on Friday, Sept. 30. NHTSA investigators have inspected the vehicle, in cooperation with local authorities.
This is the 11th confirmed U.S. fatality tied to ruptures of Takata air bag inflators.
The victim was driving a 2001 Honda Civic. The vehicle was first recalled in 2008, and records show that the recall repair was never completed.
The vehicle is included in a population of Honda and Acura vehicles which has been identified by NHTSA as holding “substantially higher risk.” The air bag inflators in these particular vehicles contain a manufacturing defect which greatly increases the potential for dangerous rupture when a crash causes the air bag to deploy. Ruptures are far more likely in inflators in vehicles that have spent significant periods of time in areas of high absolute humidity — particularly Florida, Texas, other parts of the Gulf Coast, and Southern California. Testing of the inflators from these vehicles show rupture rates as high as 50 percent in a laboratory setting.
The Department of Transportation continues to ask for the news media and public’s assistance to find the remaining unrepaired vehicles. Drivers of these vehicles should immediately visit SaferCar.gov to check whether their vehicle has any outstanding safety recalls. Those that do should contact their nearest dealer to schedule a no-cost immediate repair. Replacement parts for these vehicles are available immediately.
The higher-risk inflators are in the following 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles:
2001-2002 Honda Civic
2001-2002 Honda Accord
2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
2002 Honda CR-V
2002 Honda Odyssey
2003 Acura 3.2CL
2003 Honda Pilot