Report: Takata settles with Japan woman injured by air bag

TOKYO – A woman injured by a faulty Takata Corp. air bag has settled her case and withdrawn her complaint, Japanese media reported Wednesday.

The case was filed May and was the first in Japan related to the unfolding massive global recall due to air bag problems. The woman was in the front seat passenger of a 2006 Nissan X-Trail sport-utility vehicle when the vehicle crashed on a freeway in October and the air bag burst improperly, although the one for the driver’s seat worked properly, according to Nissan Motor Co.

Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday that the woman settled with Takata. NHK TV said the settlement totalled 12 million yen ($119,000).

Takata declined to give specifics, giving as the reason that another party, the woman, was involved. Nissan declined to comment.

The woman was injured in the face, the left arm and right hand, Nissan said.

The car model involved in the crash was part of a recall announced in May last year. The vehicle had been brought in, but no parts were replaced after a check to see if the bag’s inflator was airtight, which at the time Nissan thought meant it was safe.

After the accident, Nissan decided to replace all inflators, regardless of whether they are airtight. If a replacement part isn’t ready, the passenger side air bag will be turned off, Nissan has said.

Takata has expanded its recalls because of possible defective inflators that can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel flying into passengers.

The number of recalled vehicles now likely tallies more than 100 million. Faulty air bags have been responsible for 11 deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. Three more deaths are under investigation in Malaysia.

The recalls involve almost every major automaker, including Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co. and BMW. It has developed into the biggest recall in U.S. history, with 69 million vehicles being recalled there.

Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that inflates air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to high heat and humidity and burn faster than it is designed to.


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