Honda, NHTSA confirm seventh airbag-related fatality

Here is a Takata inflator housing. Honda and the NHTSA said yesterday that a exploding Takata airbag was responsible for the seventh confirmed Takata airbag-related death.

Kylan Langlinais, 22, of Louisiana has become the seventh victim of an exploding Takata airbag. Langlinais succumbed to wounds caused by the airbag four days after the April 5 car crash. The driver-side airbag inflator housing shattered following deployment of the safety device. The broken inflator housing spewed pieces of shrapnel throughout the passenger compartment, one of which apparently struck Langlinais. The announcement by Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety administration confirmed earlier reports that had speculated on the linkage.

According to Automotive News, the young woman’s death was linked to faulty Takata airbags in a statement from the automaker. Honda said that the ruptured airbag “resulted in the death of the driver.” The automotive manufacturer also indicated that its “deepest sympathies are with the Langlinais family during this difficult time.”

In a statement, Honda said that it has “communicated information collected to date” about the 4:15 a.m. April 5 Civic crash to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The automaker also noted that an NHTSA representative was present when Honda inspected the inflator to “confirm rupture.” Safety regulators have been conducting a comprehensive investigation of the accident. The agency combed police and medical reports in its probe and inspected the 2005 Civic. And, NHTSA has looked into information it received from the carmaker and other sources. The sources included attorneys for the family. The Langlinais family charged in a lawsuit filed in Lafayette, La., that faulty airbags were responsible for Kaylin’s death.

Administrator Mark Rosekind, in a separate statement, said that “NHTSA has concluded that a ruptured Takata airbag inflator is likely to have been involved,”

The death of Langlinais, which occurred two days after the recall notice on her 2005 Civic arrived, added one to the six others reported in Honda vehicles. More than 100 injuries have also been attributed to the airbags.

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