Recalls: Two deaths in Malaysia added to Takata airbag inflator fatality list as company expands campaign

Takata unfortunately is suffering the consequences even further from an expanded recall campaign, adding an additional 35-40 million airbags, listed as defective. That’s a crap-ton of airbags (and does it raise the question about monopolies with airbag suppliers? Probably…).

Nonetheless, two more deaths occurred as a result of faulty inflators equipped in Honda vehicles in Malaysia, forcing Honda to make a statement about each case.

As with other incidents, these two cases involved inflators in extremely humid climates. The inflators suffered a rupture of some sort, though the specifics for┬áthe cause of death have yet to be disclosed. In previous cases, reports indicated that pieces of the inflator’s construction would turn into shrapnel when the airbag was deployed, basically turning it into a frag grenade to the face.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US said that investigators could have an answer as to what causes the airbags to malfunction.

According to an industry chemist and expert on propellants, H.R. Blomquist, the fault comes from “moisture-sensitive propellant” and the inflator’s faulty design, which allows humid air to contaminate the system. As a result, the propellant deteriorates and burns faster than intended. This creates too much pressure within the system and thus, causes the housing to fragment and break.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: Honda via AutomotiveNews Europe


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