Updated 02:55 AM EDT, Mon, Oct 26, 2020

Air Bag Recall 2014 List: Honda Death Toll Rises; Pregnant Woman Dead

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Takata Corporation is set to become subject of criminal scrutiny, following association with five deaths arising from its allegedly-defective airbags. NBC News reported that a Takata spokesperson announced the situation on Thursday, as Honda revealed the latest casualty from Malaysia.

According to Reuters, a New York federal grand jury has subpoenaed Takata's unit in the U.S., calling for documents related to air bag defects. The outlet added that a separate hearing will be conducted by the U.S. Senate commerce committee next Thursday, expecting testimony from the company's executives. The recall process by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will also be discussed.

Titled "Examining the Takata Airbag Recalls and NHTSA's Recall Process," the hearing will be held under a full committee, said Automotive News. It is expected that the gathering will be the first opportunity for lawmakers to question the nature of the airbag defects. In addition, Honda officials are anticipated to explain their side, since five of the reported casualties are manufactured by the company.

The fatality recently revealed by Honda dates back to July 23, as reported by Bloomberg. Driving a 2003 Honda City subcompact, a pregnant Malaysian woman and her unborn baby reportedly died out of defective air bags. The outlet cited over 170,000 additional vehicles slated for recall worldwide, tracing the origins of the problem to Takata's headquarters in Georgia.

Bloomberg added that four of the five Honda deaths all come from the U.S. Furthermore, Honda was reported to recall nearly 6.2 million vehicles since 2008 on a global scale.

U.S. Takata spokesman Alby Berman said via Automotive News that the company is "cooperating fully with all aspects of the government investigation." Accordingly, the company will be following stronger quality control measures to prevent any further incident.

Meanwhile, Takata's chairman and chief executive Shigehisa Takada expressed his condolences to the Malaysian driver's family. While he did not provide more details, it seems the Japanese company is determined to rebuild its credibility.

Takada said over The New York Times, "We are cooperating fully with the recall and devoting ourselves as a company to strengthening our quality control. We will make every effort to regain trust."

Honda's latest recall (the 10th for the same problem) will be covering Europe and the Asia-Pacific; the U.S. will not be included, according to Honda spokesman Tsutomu Nakamura, as reported by The New York Times. In total, the outlet counted 14.3 million recalled cars worldwide.

Based on industry estimates and company data, Reuters noted that Takata has produced over 100 million inflators since 2000.

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