The company says it's the 11th confirmed death in the US associated with Takata's defective inflators.
In a series of statements to USA publication The Detroit News, the company said the incident occurred in Hialeah, Florida, in June 2016 and involved a male that was using a hammer while the vehicle's ignition was switched on. Ramon V. Kuffo, 88, who did not own the vehicle but had taken apart the center console with the ignition switch on, died of head trauma a day after a neighbor found him bleeding from the face in the passenger seat of the auto parked in his yard near Miami, Fla., reports the Detroit News. The spokesman noted that there is a deceleration sensor that activates the air bags mounted on the wall between the engine and passenger compartment.
Takata has filed for bankruptcy in the USA and Japan after the largest recall in US history.
Honda released some details of the death on Monday and said it only recently found out about it.
In January, Takata pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges related to its handling of the air bag defects and agreed to pay a US$1 billion (S$1.39 billion) fine. When it did deploy, the faulty propellant ruptured the inflator and, according to The Associated Press, "shot out fragments".
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According to Honda, Alpha inflators can have as high as a 50-50 chance of exploding and injuring an occupant. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs. Those models are the 2001 and 2002 Accord and Civic, the 2002 CR-V and Odyssey, the 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL, the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL and the 2003 Pilot.
Honda said the vehicle's registered owners had received at least 12 recall notices but never got recommended repairs. The twist this time, however, is that the incident didn't occur during a crash, but while the vehicle was in a shop being repaired.
The vehicle was included in "multiple recalls" as well as a safety campaign related to the specific kind of air bag inflater it used, according to the statement from Honda. Honda says it has sufficient supplies of replacement inflators available to fix all of its recalled vehicles.
Facing billions of dollars in losses and court settlements, Takata declared bankruptcy last month.
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