How Many Deaths And Injuries Have Been Caused by Takata Airbags? | Newsome Melton
 
  • 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.

Deaths And Injuries Have Been Caused by Takata Airbags

As of February 2018, defective Takata airbags have been connected to 24 deaths and hundreds of injuries worldwide.

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: 888-221-5316.