Truck Full of Takata Airbag Inflators Explodes, Killing One and Injuring Four
Takata already has enough negativity on its plate, but that doesn’t stop things from getting worse for the company. Faulty airbag inflators in airbags made by Takata have already been found responsible for the death of at least 14 people, more than 150 injuries, and the recall of more than 100 million vehicles. Now, a recent accident in Texas has added to the list of deaths and injuries but not in a way that you might expect.
A semi-truck driven by a subcontractor was on its way to the Takata warehouse in Eagle Pass, Texas just a week ago when the driver failed to negotiate a turn properly and crashed the truck. Shortly thereafter, the trailer that was carrying airbag detonators and blasting agents promptly exploded. 67-year-old Lucilia Robles, who was in her house at the time, was killed as a result of the explosion. The two passengers in the crashed truck managed to escape before the truck exploded.
To make matters even worse, four other people were also injured as the explosion caused significant damage to a nearby vehicle as it was passing the scene of the accident. According to local media reports, the force of the truck exploding damaged 10 nearby homes, while rubble and truck parts were found up to a mile away from the scene of the accident. According to a report from Reuters, A U.S.-based Takata spokesman has said that the company not only reported the incident to safety regulators but has also been giving its full cooperation to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Keep reading for the rest of the story.
Why it Matters
The problem with Takata air bags is that they can violently explode after being exposed to hot and humid conditions – clearly, a problem considering car’s get so hot, so quickly when sitting in the sun. When the airbags explode, shrapnel is sprayed into the passenger compartment of the car, potentially leading to severe injury or, in at least 14 cases, death.
Obviously, the explosion likely occurred because of the accident itself, but it really leads one to wonder just how safe it is for these faulty airbags to be shuffled around the country in the back of a trailer. It almost seems to me that separating the propellant and detonators prior to shipping could have helped to prevent this type of tragic loss. Robles, who was killed in the blast, was considered missing for two days until dental records provided evidence that she was indeed killed during the blast.
Source: Automotive News