The Associated PressDETROIT (AP) — Another person has been killed in the U.S. by an exploding Takata airbag inflator, but this death wasn't the result of a crash.
Ramon V. Kuffo, 81, of Hialeah, Fla., was working inside a 2001 Honda Accord using a hammer when the air bag inflator ruptured, on June 18, 2016.
A medical examiner ruled his death accidental due to head trauma, according to a Hialeah police report.
It’s the 12th U.S. death attributed to the faulty inflators and 17th worldwide, including five in Malaysia.
Takata inflators can explode with too much force when exposed to prolonged airborne moisture and hot-and-cold temperature cycles.
If that happens, the inflators can blow apart a metal canister and shoot out shrapnel which can kill or injure people.
More than 180 people have been hurt in the U.S. alone.
The problem touched off the largest automotive recall in U.S. history involving up to 69 million inflators and 42 million vehicles.
Honda was Takata’s biggest customer before the problems surfaced.
Last month Takata filed for bankruptcy protection in both Japan and the U.S. and most of its assets were bought by rival Key Safety Systems.
According to police, Kuffo was in the back yard of his home near Miami, working on a silver 2001 Honda Accord, when a neighbor heard a loud bang.
The neighbor went outside and found Kuffo sitting in the passenger seat of the car unconscious and bleeding from his face.
Kuffo was taken to a trauma center, where he died the next day. Both airbags had inflated.
Honda released some details of the death on Monday and said it only recently found out about it. The company has not been able to inspect the car and is relying on police photos to make its determination, Honda spokesman Chris Martin said.Speech