Another traffic death in a Honda Motor Co. car is now being tied to a faulty airbag produced by Takata Corp., according to Orange-Osceola Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia. Fifty-one-year-old Hien Tran had her 2001 Honda Accord sedan crashed into another car in late September.
The sedan’s airbags exploded, causing shrapnel to hit Tran, leading to her death four days later on Oct. 2. Garavaglia told Reuters that Tran may have survived injuries from the shrapnel, but she also suffered serious injuries to her head.
The examiner said that shrapnel came "tearing through" the airbag and hit Tran, thereby causing "stab-type wounds" and cutting her trachea. Garavaglia told Reuters that the lacerations contributed to Tran’s death, although she has other trauma.
According to the medical examiner, the "devastating" neck injury Tran had was not typical when an airbag deploys in an accident. She added that Tran may still be alive if that had been the only injury suffered.
According to the crash report, emergency medical workers and firefighters at the accident scene disclosed that Tran suffered 2 or 3 deep cuts on her right side of her neck that were inconsistent with crash injuries.
The report also noted that she was wearing her seat belt during the crash and that there were no broken windows caused by the accident.
According to Honda spokesman Chris Martin, the carmaker just recently learned of the accident and it has not received any formal notification. He added that Honda have not had an opportunity to perform an inspection of the vehicle, which means that it is too early to make any conclusions.