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How Many Deaths And Injuries Have Been Caused By Takata Airbags?

Defective Takata airbags have been linked to 24 deaths worldwide (17 in the United States) and at least 240 people have reportedly been injured because of a defective Takata airbag as of February 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and media reports.

The Takata airbag recall is the largest automotive recall ever in the United States. Currently, 50 million airbags are under recall, affecting about 37 million vehicles, according to the NHTSA.

List of Fatal Accidents Attributed to Defective Takata Airbags

Location

Date

Victim

Vehicle

Source

Phoenix, Arizona

11/1/2003

Charlene Weaver

2004 Subaru Impreza

Reuters

Midwest City, Oklahoma

5/27/2009

Ashley Parham

2001 Honda Accord

NewsOK

Richmond, Virginia

12/24/2009

Gurjit Rathore

2001 Honda Accord

New York Times

Alhambra, California

9/13/2013

Hai Ming Xu

2002 Acura TL

CNN Money

Freemont, California

3/14/2014

Susan Cosgrove

2013 Chevy Cruz

Car Complaints

Malaysia

7/27/2014

Law Suk Leh

2003 Honda City

Reuters

Los Angeles County, California

9/7/2014

Jewel Brangman

2001 Honda Civic

LA Times

Orlando, Florida

9/29/2014

Hien Thi Tran

2001 Honda Accord

Detroit Free Press

Spring, Texas

1/18/2015

Carlos Solis

2002 Honda Accord

Houston Press

Lafayette, Louisiana

4/15/2015

Kylan Langlinais

2005 Honda Accord

New York Times

Mercer County, Pennsylvania

7/22/2015

Unidentified

2001 Honda Accord

Chicago Tribune

Kershaw, South Carolina

12/22/2015

Joel Knight

2006 Ford Ranger

Charlotte Observer

Fort Bend County, Texas

3/31/2016

Huma Hanif

2002 Honda Civic

ABC13, KTRK-TV

Malaysia

4/16/2016

Unknown

2006 Honda City

Washington Post

Malaysia

5/1/2016

Unknown

2003 Honda City

Washington Post

Malaysia

6/2016

Unknown

Unknown

Washington Post

Hialeah, Florida

6/18/2016

Ramon Kuffo

2001 Honda Accord

LA Times

Malaysia

9/24/2016

Unknown

2009 Honda City

Washington Post

Corona, California

9/30/2016

Delia Robles

2001 Honda Civic

Fortune

Martinsburg, West Virginia

7/1/2017

Steve Mollohan

2006 Ford Ranger

LA Times

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

7/10/2017

George R. Sharp

2004 Honda Civic (with ‘02 Civic airbag)

LA Times

Australia

7/13/2017

Unknown

2007 Honda CR-V

Washington Post

Holiday, Florida

7/19/2017

Nichol Barker

2002 Honda Accord

Associated Press

Malaysia

1/1/2018

Unknown

2004 Honda City

Washington Post

Minor Accidents Lead to Severe or Fatal Injuries Because of Airbag Defect

The nature of the Takata defect means that accidents do not have to be severe for drivers or passengers to suffer severe or fatal injuries.

Takata used ammonium nitrate as a propellant in its airbag inflators but failed to include a drying agent. This is problematic because ammonium nitrate may degrade when exposed to moisture. Ignition of the airbag inflator, and degraded ammonium nitrate propellant, can cause an explosion that shatters the inflator and sends shrapnel into the passenger compartment. Learn more about what caused Takata airbags to be defective.

So, any collision that deploys the airbag can be dangerous if the ammonium nitrate propellant is degraded. In fact, many of the fatal accidents attributed to the Takata defect occurred in low-speed wrecks.

Ashley Parham

On May 27, 2009, Midwest City, Oklahoma, Ashley Parham died after a minor accident in a high school parking lot, reports NewsOK. The airbags deployed in her 2001 Honda Accord, but the airbag mechanism shattered, sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. A piece of metal pierced her carotid artery. Honda and Takata denied fault but agreed to an undisclosed settlement with the family.

Hai Ming Xu

Hai Ming Xu died in Alhambra, California, on September 13, 2013, reports CNN Money. Xu struck the wall of a nearby building, triggering the airbag to deploy in his 2002 Acura. The airbag mechanism sprayed metal fragments into the vehicle’s passenger compartment, striking Xu. His wounds were so severe that responders believed he suffered gunshot wounds on his face, but the coroner’s report found he suffered from “facial trauma due to foreign object inside airbag.”

Nichol Lynn Barker

A 34-year-old mother from Holiday, Florida, died on July 19, 2017, after a crash in her 2002 Honda Accord. According to the Associated Press, Nichol Lynn Barker died when her airbags deployed during a collision caused by another driver’s failure to yield the right-of-way. The investigation uncovered she was only going about 30 miles per hour at the time of impact. The other three people in the car — including her two children and her mother — only suffered minor injuries.

Barker, however, suffered severe facial injuries as well as a traumatic brain injury because of metal shrapnel from the airbag. According to the AP report, this included a large gaping wound near her left temple, a skull fracture, and a brain bleed. Doctors pronounced her dead at a nearby hospital.

Ramon Kuffo

In June 2016, Ramon Kuffo was using a hammer while working on the interior of a 2001 Honda Accord, according to the Associated Press via the LA Times. The airbag deployed and the airbag mechanism shattered. Honda reportedly says that fragments from the shattered inflator likely caused the man’s death.

Did You Suffer Injuries or Lose a Loved One Because of a Defective Airbag?

If you believe a defective airbag caused or contributed to your injuries, you may qualify to take legal action to recover damages related to the wreck. Call us for a free case review: 888-808-5977.

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