Honda recently released a statement confirming that an owner of a 2002 Honda Civic in the United States died in a hospital after sustaining injuries from a shrapnel from the airbag when the car crashed in the Phoenix, Arizona suburb of Buckeye.
The crash occurred 8:33 PM on June 8, 2018, and the unnamed driver died three days later at a hospital, according to a spokesperson for the Japanese car brand.
Though the death occurred almost a year ago, it was only recently that Honda confirmed that the driver’s death was due to the faulty airbag. Honda was notified by United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the accident last March 14, and inspected the car in question along with Honda on Friday, March 29.
“The rupture was confirmed at this inspection, and we announced the findings the same day,” Honda spokesman Chris Martin said.
The Honda Civic involved in the crash was among seven other Honda models named by the NHTSA in 2016 for having the highest risk of a rupturing inflator. The car was purchased less than three months prior to the crash, and Honda said that it made over 30 attempts to contact the vehicle’s previous owner and schedule the car for airbag replacement.
Honda said that it was not aware that the car had been sold prior to the accident, adding that there is no law requiring an automaker to be notified when a used vehicle is sold.
This recent fatality is the first additional death to be attributed to Takata airbags since 2017. A total of 15 Honda vehicles have been implicated in these fatalities.
The Takata airbag recall is the largest and longest recall in history, with no end yet in sight. The airbags were mostly installed in cars from model year 2002 through 2015, with a total of 19 different automakers affected, including Nissan, Toyota, Mazda and Ferrari.