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Australian Regulator Probes Takata Air-Bag Recall After Man Dies

  • Honda driver’s death on July 13 likely due to air bag: police
  • Fatality could be first linked to Takata air bags in Australia

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is investigating the recall of Takata Corp. air bags after saying a misdeployment killed a man in New South Wales in what could be the first Takata-related death in the country.

The Australian regulator is seeking information, including from carmakers, regarding Takata air bags at the center of the largest vehicle recall in history. The ACCC also urged consumers to check whether their cars’ air bags need to be replaced, it said in a statement Monday.

A 58-year-old man driving a Honda Motor Co. CR-V under recall died at the scene after his car crashed with a Toyota vehicle July 13 at an intersection in Cabramatta, a western Sydney suburb, according to a July 21 statement from New South Wales police. Investigations revealed the man’s death was probably caused when a fault in the air bag caused him to be struck in the neck by a small fragment. 

More than 70 million Takata air-bag inflators are set to be recalled globally because they may explode in a crash and spray vehicle occupants with metal shards. These include 2.7 million in the U.S. announced earlier this month, after Takata concluded they could explode in a crash despite using a drying agent to ensure their safety.

More than 2.3 million vehicles in Australia have been subject to recall over Takata air bags since 2009, according to the ACCC statement.

As of July 12, 18 deaths had been reported to be linked to faulty Takata air bags, with all except one in Honda and Acura cars. None had been previously reported in Australia.

— With assistance by Angus Whitley

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