PART OF A WIDESPREAD RECALL: A faulty Takata air bag has caused the death of a pregnant woman and her unborn child in Malaysia while she was driving her Honda City model. Image: AP / Shizuo Kambayashi
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Automaker Honda says a Malaysian woman, who was killed when a Takata air-bag inflator disintegrated during deployment in a crash and hit her with shrapnel, was pregnant.
The unborn baby, removed from its mother to an incubator, also died a few days later.
Jordhatt Johan, an official with Honda Malaysia, said on Nov 14 2014 that the bag in the woman's 2003 Honda City "deployed abnormally" in the July 27 2014 incident.
BROKEN INFLATOR CASE
He said the cause of death was "rupture of the (air bag) inflator" which propelled metal shards into the woman's neck.
Johan said: “The car collided with another vehicle and the driver’s air bag was deployed abnormally and the inflator case was broken."
According to a Bloomberg news report, the 43-year-old pregnant woman died in an ambulance on the way to hospital in the Sarawakian town of Sibu on July 27 2014, the New Sarawak Tribune reported on July 31. An emergency operation successfully removed the foetus but the baby died while under intensive care on July 29, the paper reported.
The New Sarawak Tribune reported that shrapnel from the Takata-made air bag was found in the woman's neck. An official told the AFP news agency that the woman's death was caused "due to the object which came out from the airbag".
Global recalls related to air bags assembled by Takata number more than 12-million vehicles. The Malaysian death was the fifth worldwide.
Jordhatt said Honda only recently discovered the inflator was defective because Takata failed to control the humidity during production.
Earlier on Nov 14 Wheels24 reported that US justice authorities had opened a criminal investigation into the embattled Japanese auto parts company, Takata, over exploding air bags linked to the deaths of at least five people.