The defective Takata airbags have claimed another victim. In East Texas a 17-year old girl recently became the 11th fatality linked to the faulty airbag.
The victim, a high school senior from Richmond, Texas, ran into the back of a Honda CR-V that was waiting for traffic to clear to make a left turn. According to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s department she was wearing her seat belt, excessive speed wasn’t a factor, and only minor damage was reported to her 2002 Honda Civic. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department said, “Everybody should have walked away from this.”
Shrapnel punctured the air bag and sliced the young woman’s neck and carotid artery. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 2002 Civic involved in the accident was a used vehicle that had been recalled multiple times since 2011. According to Honda multiple notices had been sent out to the registered owners, a claim the deceased girl’s family disputes.
It saddens me to know that 11deaths have been linked to the defective Takata inflators. All but one of them has come in older model Hondas. In spite of the massive recall notices millions of cars with the defective Takata airbags and inflators remain on the road. Lawmakers and regulators have been alarmed at the slow pace of repairs. The death in Texas has renewed calls to speed the process. According to Senator Bill Nelson, “Automakers have to step up their efforts to locate, notify and fix every impacted car as soon as possible – before anyone else dies.”
For this reason I urge vehicle owners who think their car may have defective airbags to check to see if their car is affected. The easiest way to check a car’s airbags is to call a franchised dealer or look to the ownership sections on manufacturers’ websites for recall information. Owners can also use their vehicle identification number, VIN, and enter it into the NHTSA’s online VIN-lookup tool. The NHTSA website also has a list of vehicles affected by the recalls for quick review.
At Saunders & Walker we will continue to monitor the Takata recall and offer representation to anyone suspecting that they, or their relatives, may have been killed or injured by these dangerous airbags.