Minnesota residents might be aware of the millions of vehicle recalls that occurred because of unsafe air bags, and a Houston man was the latest to be killed by the faulty product made by the Takata Corporation. Some Takata airbags were recalled because of a defective driver's air bag inflator, and the 35-year-old man died on Jan. 18 when metal from the airbag in his 2002 Honda Accord sliced into his neck.
While the Houston man was involved in a low-speed car accident, the airbag's metal inflation canister came apart causing shrapnel to hit the man. An autopsy concluded that the man died of blunt-force injuries to the neck, and there were no other serious injuries found.
The vehicle was purchased in April 2014 and had two previous owners, but the airbag had not been fixed after the 2011 recall. Honda reportedly mailed recall letters to a former owner of the vehicle but had not yet sent a letter to the current owner.
Six deaths and 64 injuries have been linked to inflator mechanisms, and the family in this case is suing Takata, Honda and the dealership where the Houston man bought the car. It is recommended that anyone who owns a Honda that was recalled for air bag problems should immediately bring the car to a dealership.
Recalls warn consumers about potentially dangerous products, but this does not guarantee that those who already own the product will be informed as there are no current minimum standards for what a company must do to inform the public when having an item recalled. When automotive defects cause an accident or lead to one's injuries, the company who sold or produced the faulty part might be financially liable for a victim's injuries.