The first Australian death linked to faulty Takata airbags has been recorded in Sydney after a 58-year-old man was killed in a collision at Cabramatta.
The man died on July 13 when his Honda CRV slammed into another vehicle at an intersection in Sydney’s southwest.
NSW Police on Friday said a faulty airbag was likely to blame with the driver “struck in the neck by a small fragment”.
“Further investigations revealed the vehicle in the incident was subject of a worldwide recall for a faulty airbag,” they said in a statement.
The female passenger, along with the male driver and passenger of the other car, were treated by paramedics in Cabramatta before being taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Dodgy Takata airbags have previously been linked to 17 deaths globally.
The Japanese manufacturer has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Japan. The company faces tens of billions of dollars in costs and liabilities resulting from almost a decade of recalls and lawsuits.
Prior to last week’s incident, there had not been any fatalities involving Takata airbags in Australia.
However, in late April a 21-year-old Northern Territory woman suffered serious injuries when one of the faulty airbags didn’t deploy properly during a crash in Darwin. She was struck in the head by a small metal fragment, NT Police said at the time.
“This type of crash, in normal circumstances, would not have caused this level of injury,” Sergeant Mark Casey said.
The recall covers approximately 100 million vehicles worldwide and 2.1 million in Australia.
Police in both NSW and the NT have urged motorists to check the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s product safety website, and to act as soon as possible if their vehicle is included in the recall.