10th Death Connected To Takata Airbags, NHTSA Announces New Recall

Jan 24, 2016 02:57 PM EST | John Nassivera

Federal regulators have confirmed the 10th death connected to Takata's faulty airbags.

The death, which took place in a crash in late December in South Carolina, was the ninth in the U.S. and the 10th worldwide linked to defective driver's side airbags, which explode with too much force and send shrapnel into the vehicle cabins, according to NBC News.

"This is a massive safety crisis," National Highway Traffic Safety Administration spokesman Gordon Trowbridge told reports on Friday.

The death has also lead to the NHTSA recalling 5 million vehicles with the airbags, which includes 1 million vehicles with SDI driver's side inflators and 4 million with PSDI-5 driver's side inflators, NBC News noted. The move adds on to the approximately 23 million inflators that have already been recalled in 19 million cars in the U.S. The recalls affect 11 automakers, including Ford, Audi, Mazda and Volkswagen.

Trowbridge said that the crash involved a 2006 Ford Ranger, which swerved to avoid an obstacle on the road, ran off the side and struck another obstacle, Fox News reported.

The NHTSA was notified of the accident last week from the attorney for the victim's family, and the death was confirmed to have been caused by an exploding airbag inflator after investigators from the safety administration, as well as police and family representatives, examined the vehicle, Trowbridge added.

Officials say that most of the deaths and injuries related to this issue involved low-speed crashes that the victims likely would have survived otherwise, according to Fox News.

Other deaths that occurred from the faulty airbags include that of a Malaysian woman last year, which was the only one that took place outside the U.S., as well as that of a teenager in July, which Honda confirmed as the ninth death connected to the issue.

In addition to the recalls, Takata has also had to deal with Toyota and Nissan ditching it as their airbag supplier.

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