The largest recall in US history got even bigger Wednesday as U.S safety experts expanded a recall of Takata airbags. They said the airbags are to blame for at least 11 deaths including one in Texas.
Deputy Danny Beckworth of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office said it took just a matter of seconds for Huma Hanif to lose her life, in a simple fender bender. "When this fragment punctured and severed her juggler and carotid artery, she was dead in an amount of seconds,” he said. Deputies said she should have been able to walk away from the crash but the airbag killed her.
Her family has filed a lawsuit against Honda and Takata. Mo Aziz is representing the family, “If you do the math, the airbag that Takata made has about 40-45 percent equivalency of a hand grenade. Aziz said the explosion, sent a metal piece flying like shrapnel straight at the 17-year-old piercing her neck.
Hanif was in a Honda, but others have now been added. “They sell to other carmakers as well. They've sold to Ford; one of the fatalities was in a Ford vehicle. They have sold to Acura, which is part of the Honda brand. Most of them are Hondas, but there are other carmakers as well,” he said.
Takata uses Ammonium Nitrate to create an explosion that inflates air bags in a crash. But over time, and when exposed to airborne moisture and high temperatures, the chemical can degrade and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister and spewing shrapnel. That's why vehicles older than six years old are more at risk.
The recall started with 28.8-million, but Wednesday's announcement could raise that number as high as 69-million.
The devices have now been linked to more than 100 injuries and at least 11 deaths.
The expansion adds three manufacturers, Tesla, Jaguar-Landrover, and Fisker. Those already on the list include: Acura, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks North America (Sterling Bullet), Daimler Vans USA LLC (Sprinter), Dodge/Ram, Ford, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen (VW)
You can head to www.safercar.gov and enter your VIN number and it will tell you if it is on the recall list. Vehicles from the latest recall won't be added to the site for several weeks, so owners should check the site frequently.