Honda Motor confirmed on Thursday that a Takata airbag inflator ruptured in a July crash of a Honda Accord and likely caused the death of the young driver. If Takata airbags are to blame it would be the ninth death in the world linked to the faulty inflators.
The death was first reported last week by U.S. auto safety authorities. It would also be the eighth deth reported in the United States since April.
Tens of millions of vehicles worldwide have been recalled because of Takata airbags.
Honda said it “confirmed that the Takata driver’s front airbag inflator ruptured” and “injuries related to this airbag inflator rupture likely resulted in the tragic death of the underage driver.”
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last week the death occurred in a recalled used 2001 Honda Accord coupe near Pittsburgh.
The death involved a 13-year-old boy who took the keys to his parents vehicle without permission on July 22, 2015.
The 13-year-old boy, who was traveling alone, crashed the vehicle in a wooded area at 4:46 a.m. in western Pennsylvania.
Honda said the car’s prior owner first got a recall notice in 2010. Honda mailed a new recall notice on July 21, one day before the crash, to the new owner.
In November, Takata agreed to pay a $70 million fine for safety violations. The company could still face deferred penalties of up to $130 million under an NHTSA settlement.
Takata’s inflators can explode with too much force and spray metal shrapnel into vehicle passenger compartments.
All of the nine reported airbag deaths have been reported in Honda vehicles.