https://www.theblaze.com/news/takata-exploding-airbags-claim-another-life-a-total-of-28-deaths-worldwide-malfunction-initially-exposed-in-2014

A 23-year-old Florida man suffered fatal injuries after a minor crash caused his vehicle’s Takata airbag to spew shrapnel. In 2016, Takata Corporation’s exploding airbags were responsible for the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.

Worldwide, Takata airbags are now responsible for 28 deaths.

Florida’s highway patrol reported that the accident involved a white sedan and the victim’s gray pickup truck. Authorities said the sedan failed to yield and pulled out in front of the truck.

Following the incident, a Florida highway patrol trooper filed a complaint with U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The officer reported that the crash was minor. If the airbag inflator had not exploded, the young man would have survived the crash.

“The driver of the Ford pickup truck died as a result of his injuries,” the authorities reported.

NHTSA stated Thursday that it is investigating the details of the accident to determine if further action is necessary.

Takata airbags use ammonium nitrate to catalyze an intentional, but minor explosion, causing the airbag to inflate during a crash. Over time, exposure to moisture and high temperatures have caused the chemical to become more volatile. The premature explosions have ripped apart metal canisters and produced deadly shrapnel.

Ford recalled its 2004 to 2006 Rangers in January 2016 because of the exploding inflators. The recall involved 391,000 Ranger models, including the one that the young Florida man was driving last month. The driver had failed to take action on the recall notices.

Said Deep, a Ford spokesperson, stated that the repairs were never completed on the man’s Ranger. He commented that Ford made several attempts to notify the owner. After the mailed notices were ignored, Ford sent a representative to the owner’s home, but the vehicle still did not receive the repairs.

NHTSA reported that millions of impacted vehicles still have not been repaired. Its website reports that “Certain 2001-2003 Honda and Acura (containing “Alpha” air bags), 2006 Ford Ranger, and Mazda B-Series vehicles are at a far higher risk for an air bag explosion that could injure or kill vehicle occupants.”

The airbag recall impacted 67 million inflators and forced Takata into bankruptcy. Criminal charges were filed against the corporation as well. In 2018, the airbag manufacturer was purchased for $1.6 billion by Joyson Safety Systems, an American company owned by Chinese investors.

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