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The recent death of a teenager in USA after the airbag of his Honda Accord car ruptured following an accident and sprayed metal fragments into him, comes as a chilling reminder of the lacunae in the car recall system.

The automobile major had reportedly repeatedly written to the original owner of the car that the vehicle was being recalled over the Takata airbag issue, but the owner had ignored the letters. The vehicle had subsequently been sold on, and Honda had written to the new owner too, but unfortunately the letter was sent out only the day before the fatal accident to the teenager in the passenger seat.

Honda has again urged car owners to get their recalled vehicles repaired as soon as possible.

The most recent death is the ninth laid at the door of Takata airbags in the US.

The incident draws attention to the fact that owners of suspect cars are not mandated to heed the recall notices, and often don’t do anything about them. Also, manufacturers are often slow to supply dealers with the parts needed to complete the recall and further, dealers are not required to perform recalls before they sell a car.

According to NHTSA, as many as about three-quarters of the 19 million vehicles recalled to fix the Takata airbag problem are still unrepaired and it may take seven more months to finish the recall.


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