Man dies when air bag inflator ruptures amid vehicle fix

Honda Accord

The expanded recall comes one day after Honda confirmed the 12th US death - and 17th worldwide - tied to a faulty Takata air bag.

Honda did not identify the deceased, but said the individual was on June 18, 2016, "attempting to perform unknown repairs inside the vehicle using a hammer while the ignition switch was in the "on" position". Completing that recall could have saved someone's life, and Honda says it continues to encourage people who own cars affected by the massive Takata airbag recall to schedule fix appointments with their dealers immediately. It's also not clear why the air bag deployed, but police photos show the metal driver's side inflator ruptured and shot out fragments, Honda said.

The company did not release the name of the man out of respect for his family, but confirmed that he was not the car's owner and he was working on the vehicle at a private residence.

Takata air bag inflators are already linked to 17 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide, and the recalls will eventually cover about 125 million inflators.

More than 65 percent of 46.2 million previously recalled Takata airbag inflators in the United States have not been repaired. By this year, the safety agency had extended the recall to cover almost 70 million air bags in 42 million vehicles of many makes and models.

Multiple owners of the vehicle were mailed 12 recall notices over seven years.

A man was killed Florida by an exploding Takata (file image) air bag inflator, but this death wasn't the result of a crash.

Takata inflator ruptures occur after long-term exposure to high humidity, NHTSA has said.

Takata expects to recall by 2019 about 125 million vehicles worldwide, including more than 60 million in the United States, Scott Caudill, chief operating officer of TK Holdings, Takata's USA unit, said in June. Owners can go online and subscribe to Honda service manuals and find out proper procedures for many repairs.

"Our records indicate that the recall fix was never completed on this vehicle", the OEM wrote.

The airbags on the following Hondas models have up to a 50% chance of exploding in a crash: 2001 and 2002 Accord and Civic, the 2002 CR-V and Odyssey, the 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL, the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL and the 2003 Pilot. US supplier Key Safety Systems is set to purchase almost all of the company's global assets for $1.59 billion, which is still far short of what the company will ultimately face when all is said and done.

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