Honda has confirmed a seventh death related to faulty Takata airbags in its cars.
Honda says that a 2005 Civic, occupied by Kylan Langlinais, was driving when the car hit a utility pole, causing a faulty Takata airbag to explode and fling metal fragments at Langlinais, contributing to her death. The company also announced a new $360 million charge to cover the recall expansion.
According to the lawsuit that has been filed, the airbag “violently exploded and sent metal shards, shrapnel and/or other foreign material into the passenger compartment … Langlinais sustained a penetrating injury to the right side of her neck, causing an immediate and profuse loss of blood.” The accident took place three days after Honda mailed Langlinais a recall notice.
“After examination of the vehicle and other evidence, NHTSA has concluded that a ruptured Takata air bag inflator is likely to have been involved in a fatal crash on April 5 in Louisiana,” the agency said in a statement. “This tragedy underscores the necessity of the actions NHTSA is taking to ensure that every vehicle on America’s roads has a safe air bag.”
Honda has recalled nearly 20-million vehicles worldwide with Takata airbags. In total, over 100 injuries have been tied to the faulty airbags and Takata along with NHTSA and an auto industry consortium are still unclear on what the root cause of the problem is.