Are urgent Takata airbag recall notices actually reaching the millions of drivers still using affected cars? That is the new question at the heart of the most recent death attributed to the defective airbags. Huma Hanif, a Richmond, Texas high school senior was killed by a Takata bag earlier this year and, according to his family, had not been alerted by the car maker of the risks associated with their product.
As Fortune reports, Hanif, 17, was killed on March 31 during a minor accident in his Honda Civic. The hood was crumpled and the airbag deployed, sending dangerous shrapnel into his neck. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Hanif would have survived the minor accident if it had not been for the defective airbag.
Now, the Hanif family is claiming that they were never notified by Honda that the airbags in their Civic were potentially dangerous. "I wish we had received a notice from Honda so we could have avoided this tragedy," Faizan Hanif, Huma's brother, told reporters. Honda is refuting the claim, however, claiming that Honda Civic owners have been sent multiple mailings about the airbags since 2011.
"More Must Be Done"
Huma's comments come at a time when National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expressed concerns over how car makers were alerting drivers to the Takata recall. Spokesman Bryan Thomas told the usual avenues to reach consumers (mailings) were inadequate. "More must be done," Thomas said.
Huma Hanif's death is the 10th in the U.S. to be linked to Takata airbags. It is estimated that car makers have only replaced one quarter of the estimated 29 million U.S. vehicles outfitted with the potentially dangerous airbags.
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