Every car air bag has an inflator, which puffs up the airbag when triggered
The driver’s airbag injured and “subsequently killed” the driver, who Honda didn’t name. The passenger’s airbag exploded inside the dashboard, which caused a small fire, Honda said.
The 2002 Honda Civic had been under recall since December 2011 for replacement of the driver’s airbag inflator, which can explode when deployed, Honda said. The inflator was recalled again in 2014.
The automaker made repeated efforts to contact the car’s owner before the airbags ruptured, Honda said. It mailed over 15 recall notices to registered owners of the car, called them and visited their home address to leave recall information.
The registered owner of the Civic involved in the crash never completed the repair, Honda said, though the driver killed in the crash was not the registered owner.
Exploding Takata airbag inlators recalled from millions of vehicles
A chemical drying agent used in the inflators could cause airbags to rupture when exposed to long-term heat and humidity, Takata and the NHTSA said. Upon bursting, some Takata airbags caused shrapnel to explode forward into passengers and drivers, injuring or killing some.