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Man dies when air bag inflator ruptures

Honda Accord

Another person has died as a result of an exploding Takata airbag, though in this case the vehicle involved wasn't even in a crash.

In a series of statements to United States publication The Detroit News, the company said the incident occurred in Hialeah, Florida, in June 2016 and involved a male that was using a hammer while the vehicle's ignition was switched on.

Some 68 million Takata inflators are already set to be recalled through 2019 because they may explode in a crash and spray vehicle occupants with metal shards.

Honda says the individual died the following day from his injuries, though it's not obvious if the shrapnel resulting from the ruptured inflator was the cause of death or if the "interaction of the hammer with the deploying airbag" was the culprit.

The company that makes them is now adding nearly 3-million cars to its recall.

It's the 12th US death attributed to the faulty inflators and 17th worldwide, including five in Malaysia.

The 2001 Accord reportedly includes one of the more hazardous versions of Takata driver's side airbag inflators, with laboratory testing showing they have up to a 50 per cent chance of rupturing during an accident. Takata inflators can explode with too much force when exposed to prolonged airborne moisture and hot-and-cold temperature cycles.

Mr. Martin did not explain what caused the airbag to deploy, but noted that the airbags on the vehicle are activated by a deceleration sensor that is mounted between the engine and passenger compartment.

Honda is again urging consumers who own a recalled vehicles to contact the company and get a replacement immediately. Of those deaths, 16 occurred in Honda vehicles since May 2009. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs.

The auto was included in "multiple recalls" as well as a safety campaign related to the specific kind of air bag inflater it used, according to the statement from Honda.

The NHTSA said 2001-2003 model Honda and Acura vehicles have as high as a 50 per cent chance of a unsafe air bag inflator rupture in a crash.

Takata announced in late June that it reached a deal worth 175 billion Japanese yen, or $1.59 billion, to sell its remaining global assets and operations to a Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems that is headquartered in Sterling Heights. "This recall now raises serious questions about the threat posed by all of Takata's ammonium nitrate-based airbags", U.S. Senator Bill Nelson said in a statement.