Honda confirmed Saturday that a 17th death occurred in the United States in connection with a defective Takata airbag. It is the 26th fatality worldwide in which an airbag has bene found to be at fault. The victim was driving a 2002 Honda Civic that was involved in an accident on August 20 in Mesa, Arizona.
The Japanese automaker came to its conclusion after a joint investigation of the accident details with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S. equivalent of Transport Canada.
The flaw with the airbags is that they can explode without warning. When this happens, metal fragments can fly into the faces of the occupants, resulting in injury and, in some cases, death. The Takata cushion problem has caused the largest motor vehicle recall in history and, as mentioned, is linked to 26 deaths worldwide. Nearly 300 people have also been seriously injured.
Honda said the 2002 Civic involved in the fatal incident has been subject to a recall since December 2011 for replacement of the driver's airbag, while the front passenger unit was part of a recall issued in 2014.