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Honda reports 10th U.S. death from Takata air bags

Takata's North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., on Oct. 22, 2014.
(Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

Another person has been killed by an exploding air bag made by Takata Corp.

A 17-year-old girl from Texas is the latest victim of the malfunctioning air bag inflators. She was driving a 2002 Honda Civic in Fort Bend County when the car crashed and the air bag activated March 31, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Her identity was not made public.

It’s the 10th known death in the U.S. from a Takata inflator, and the 11th worldwide. More than 100 people have been hurt.

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Takata inflators can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel at drivers and passengers. So far, 14 automakers have recalled 24 million U.S. vehicles in what is now the largest auto recall in the nation’s history. About 7.1 million inflators have been replaced, and the government says the recalls almost certainly will be expanded.

In the March 31 crash, the Civic collided with another car, setting off the air bags, according to the safety agency. Honda’s records show that the car was first recalled in 2011, but that despite several recall notices, repairs were never completed.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office notified the NHTSA of the crash Friday, and investigators inspected the car Wednesday, according to the agency.

The NHTSA said the crash shows how important it is for people to get Takata recall repairs made as quickly as possible.

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Car owners can go to www.safercar.gov and key in their vehicle identification number to check for any unrepaired recalls.

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