Things were certainly bad enough with exploding airbags in people’s cars. But we certainly never saw anything like this coming.
Investigators say a Texas woman was killed last week when a truck carrying Takata airbags exploded in front of her home. The blast occurred following a fiery accident involving the 18-wheeler and another vehicle. The explosion incinerated the 69-year-old woman’s home and debris damaged other homes nearby. Four other people were hurt.
— Alex Morales (@mitsleon) August 29, 2016
Takata confirms the subcontractor’s truck was headed to its warehouse in Eagle Pass, Texas, southwest of San Antonio, when it was involved in the accident around 2 am in the morning. (The warehouse is one of the sources of the company’s defective air bags.) According to Reuters, Takata says “according to preliminary reports, the accident caused a fire, which led to an explosion.”
The truck was carrying airbags and propellants containing ammonium nitrate, the volatile chemical compound that causes airbags to explode and send shrapnel flying. Airbags with the dangerous propellant are now linked to at least 14 deaths and more than 150 injuries worldwide. Most of which are in the U.S. and involve Honda vehicles.
The largest recall in automotive history is currently underway to replace more than 100 million airbags worldwide in vehicles from virtually every automaker. In the U.S., there are so many vehicles being recalled it’s being done in phases because there just aren’t enough replacement inflators. Regions with high heat and humidity are priority zones since hot temps can cause the propellant to degrade over time.
Click here for our Takata Recall Guide of listed vehicles impacted by the recall.