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Challenge of largest U.S. auto product recall continues to mount

Pressure does not appear to be letting up in connection with the recall related to potentially defective Takata vehicle air bags. Last month we offered Texas readers some key insights regarding this safety issue. Since then, the number of cars, trucks and SUVs that could be affected by this recall has gone up. More sadly, an additional death has been recorded.

That brings the number of deaths around the world attributed to defective inflators in Takata air bags to seven. Six of them happened in the United States. The latest involved the death of a 22-year-old woman in Louisiana. Hundreds of people have been injured by the faulty bags.

According to Honda U.S. and the National Highway traffic Safety Administration, the woman was driving early on an April morning and crashed into a pole. When she did that, the air bag mechanism triggered and the force of the inflating system sent shards of metal into her body. One severed a carotid artery and she died several days later.

In the wake of the accident, Honda has confirmed that a rupture in the inflator on the driver side air bag resulted in the death of the woman. NHTSA officials say their investigation of the case leads them to conclude that the inflator was "likely to have been involved."

Armed with that information, the family of the woman has filed a wrongful death suit naming Honda and Takata as defendants.

Likely adding to the family's grief is the fact that she had only purchased the 2005 Honda Civic last October. And Honda says that a notice about the recall related to the defective auto part was put into the mail on April 2. The deadly accident happened on April 5.

Source: Reuters, "U.S. officials say Takata air bag likely involved in fatal crash," David Morgan, June 12, 2015

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