Honda confirms eighth death from faulty Takata airbags

Published: June 22, 2015

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Callum Micucci

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Regulators and Honda Motor Co. have confirmed that an airbag explosion last fall in Los Angeles is the eighth confirmed death linked to the largest automotive recall in history.

Jewel Brangman, 26, died last September when an airbag in a rented 2001 Honda Civic exploded with too much force, shooting shrapnel into the vehicle and causing fatal head and neck injuries.

Brangman is the seventh victim in the U.S. and the eighth worldwide, as the faulty airbags killed one woman in Malaysia.

Brangman rented the Honda Civic in San Diego but was driving in LA when she was involved in a collision that led to her death. Both Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed June 19 that the airbag was what caused her death.

Honda says they issued a recall for the car in 2009 but it wasn’t repaired, despite the fact that Honda sent four notices to the rental car company.

In May, Takata announced it would be doubling the number of recalled vehicles to 33.8 million. Ammonium nitrate, the propellant Takata uses to deploy its airbags, becomes unstable when exposed to moisture and explodes more violently, shredding the metal canister that’s supposed to contain the explosion.

Alex Brangman, Jewel’s father, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Honda, Takata, and the rental car company.

Vehicles made by 15 different manufacturers between 2002 and 2008 have been recalled, and reports estimate over 100 injuries in addition to the eight deaths.

Both companies offered the Brangmans their condolences while urging people to get their vehicles repaired as soon as possible. Honda says it’s prepared to offer loaner cars if parts aren’t immediately available.

See below for a full list of car manufacturers affected by the recall, and be sure to use the NHTSA’s VIN checker to see if your particular vehicle is affected.

List of affected manufacturers:

  • Acura
  • BMW
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Ford
  • General Motors
  • Honda
  • Infiniti
  • Lexus
  • Mazda
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Saab
  • Subaru
  • Toyota