NEW YORK – U.S. regulators have confirmed that an air bag made by Takata Corp. was involved in the April death of a woman in Louisiana , connecting the defective air bags to a seventh fatality.
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration examined the car belonging to Kylan Langlinais, the police report from the accident, medical reports, and other evidence. Takata said it had no comment.
A chemical that inflates the air bags can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal inflator and sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. In addition to the seven deaths, the problem is linked to more than 100 injuries. Takata bowed to government pressure in May and declared many of the air bags defective, doubling a recall of air bag inflators to 33.8 million. That made it the largest auto recall in U.S. history. It covers air bags in cars and trucks made by 11 companies.
A 2005 Honda Accord driven by Langlinais crashed into a utility pole in Lafayette, Louisiana on the morning of April 5. According to a lawsuit filed by Langlinais' family this week, a recall notice arrived two days after the crash. She died two days later.