Even as it is tied up in bankruptcy, Takata’s legacy continues after Honda Motor Co. reported another death related to Takata’s faulty airbag inflators. It was the 12th fatality in the U.S. attributed to the airbags.
The latest death occurred in Flordia, according to Reuters, when a person was performing a repair on a 2001 Honda Accord when the airbag exploded. In all, 17 deaths and 180 injuries around the world have been reported as being tied to Takata’s airbags.
The airbags, which have inflators that exploded with too much force sending shrapnel into the cabin of the vehicle, have become the largest recall in U.S. history with more than 60 million vehicles subject to recall. Globally, the recall number is closer to 125 million.
The Honda Accord was part of a cluster of more than 300,000 unrepaired recalled Honda cars with inflators with a substantial risk of rupturing, Reuters reported. Honda said the vehicle’s registered owners received more than a dozen recall notices but never got the vehicle repaired.
(What does Takata sale and airbag recall mean to you? Click Here to find out.)
Last year, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urged owners to stop driving the “unsafe” cars until they were fixed. NHTSA said 2001-2003 model Honda and Acura vehicles have as high as a 50% chance of a dangerous air bag inflator rupture in a crash.
The company is under bankruptcy court protection, and the judge overseeing the case plans to name
Separately, a federal judge in Detroit on Monday said he planned to name Harvard law professor Eric D. Green to oversee the $975 million in compensation fund for Takata airbag victims and automakers. That includes $850 million meant to reimburse automakers for the costs related to the ongoing airbag recall, along with a $125 million victims’ compensation fund Takata has set up.
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Green, who served as a mediator in the U.S. Microsoft antitrust case, currently serves as a Justice Department monitor overseeing the implementation of billions of dollars in consumer relief linked to settlements with banks stemming from the 2007-2009 financial crisis, according to Reuters.
The fund was original supposed to be managed by Robert Mueller, but the former FBI Director is now overseeing the Justice Department Investigation of Russian hacking of the 2016 presidential election.
(Not all airbag recalls involve Takata. Click Here for more.)
The bankruptcy filing comes less than six months after Takata pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Detroit, agreeing to a deal worth approximately $1 billion. Key will largely be indemnified from additional penalties, though the $1.6 billion that it is paying for Takata’s primary assets will help fund two portions of the settlement.