A faulty Takata airbag is likely to blame for the first death of a driver in Australia last week, NSW Police has determined, due to corroded high-speed shrapnel expelled from the casing during airbag deployment.
At 12:45PM on Thursday 13 July, a Honda CR-V and Toyota Celica collided at the intersection of Mallee and Church streets in Cabramatta, where the 58-year-old driver of the Honda died at the scene.
A crime scene was established and Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit officers determined that the likely cause of the death was due to the man's neck being struck by a small fragment from the airbag.
Further investigation determined that the vehicle was subject to a worldwide recall for a faulty Takata airbag.
The passenger of the Honda and the driver and passenger of the Celica were treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
In a statement released today, Honda Australia Director, Stephen Collins, communicated the company's sympathies.
"We are aware through NSW Police that an accident occurred on July 13, 2017, and resulted in the tragic death of the driver," Collins said.
"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family of the driver during this difficult time.
"The vehicle involved, a 2007 Honda CR-V, was the subject of Takata airbag inflator recalls.
"Honda Australia is working closely with authorities to provide whatever assistance is required."
Honda Australia has performed almost 500,000 repairs to date, with a little over 200,000 to go.
The Japanese car maker's Australian arm has also funded a 24-person call centre devoted to recall enquiries, and has a public VIN checker that will tell you if your vehicle needs new inflators.
CarAdvice has contacted the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development - the government body overseeing the ongoing Takata recall - and the ACCC for comment on the details surrounding this tragedy. The ACCC also maintains a page the details the recall, with advice for consumers. You can view the page here.
We will update this article as the story unfolds.
CarAdvice extends its sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
NOTE: CarAdvice has been preparing an updated story on the current state of the Takata recalls in Australia. We will publish this story in the coming days.