TOKYO: Honda Motor Co said on Thursday that a driver in Malaysia had died after a July accident involving an air bag supplied by Takata Corp, and widened its recall for the defective air bags by another 170,000 vehicles.
In the fatal accident, involving a 2003 Honda City model, the air bag inflator ruptured and sent shrapnel into the vehicle, some of which struck the driver, Honda said, adding it was not clear whether the woman driver was killed by the air bag explosion or another cause, citing a local police report.
Honda did not give the woman’s name or age.
Before Thursday’s disclosure, Takata’s air bags had been linked to at least four deaths in the United States, all in Honda vehicles.
All of those victims were hit by shrapnel ejected by the air bag.
Honda said the Takata air bag inflator that failed in the Malaysia accident had been made at the supplier’s now-shuttered plant in La Grange, Georgia.
Honda said it was recalling five models as part of a widening campaign, including the Fit and Civic. None of the affected models were sold in North America.
The expanded recall covers air bag inflators made at Takata’s Georgia plant between November 2001 and November 2003, Honda said.
Defective Takata air bags remain the target of a U.S. safety investigation over the risk they could explode with dangerous force in an accident and shoot metal shards into the vehicle.
More than 17 million vehicles have been recalled globally for flawed Takata air bags since 2008.