Texas Teenager 10th US Victim of Fatally-Flawed Takata Airbag
At face value, it was a minor fender-bender that caused minimal damage to the two vehicles involved. Yet, a 17-year-old girl, who was wearing her seatbelt and wasn’t speeding, is dead. On March 31, Huma Hanif, a high school senior with plans to study nursing after graduating in just a few months, rear-ended an SUV in her 2002 Honda. The slight impact proved just enough to cause the airbag to deploy and rupture, sending shrapnel flying through the car. One piece hit Hanif in the neck, severing her carotid artery.
As Fort Bend County Sheriff's Deputy Danny Beckwith told a reporter with Reuters, “Everybody should have walked away from this.”
As of the time of this writing, 14 automakers have recalled upward of 24 million vehicles involving some 28 million Takata air bag inflators. Testing has shown that these inflators can cause airbags to deploy and rupture, sending metal shrapnel flying throughout an automobile’s passenger compartments. Despite massive efforts on the part of carmakers to notify registered owners of rides that may be outfitted with faulty airbags, many of the recall notices mailed, emailed, phoned, advertised or posted on social media, only about 7.5 million inflators have been replaced. And the recalls may still be inadequate. Experts say more than 100 million rides may ultimately be affected.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “has demanded that manufacturers work to a 100 percent completion rate, and take all efforts necessary to reach that goal,” officials say.
If you’ve received a recall notice or have any inkling that your ride may have a Takata airbag, please – don’t be one of the average 75 percent of car owners that ignore notices. We here at E3 Spark Plugs urge you to take all safety recall notices seriously. Not sure if your ride’s affected? Your nearest dealership should be able to tell you and will repair or replace your airbag free of charge.