An Alhambra student website has reported that Airbag manufacturer Takata allegedly knew about and hid the risks of faulty airbags that have been linked to four deaths, including one in Alhambra.
Their source is a The New York Times. The story has been broadcast throughout television news and major newspapers.
When the fault airbags deploy it can cause a steel canister to explode into pieces and injure drivers.
The Alhambra Source.org said the local victim was Hai Ming Xu, 47, a Rosemead resident, who died in a car crash on Sept. 3 in a parking lot on Valley Boulevard and Chapel Avenue.
Alhambra police was quoted as reporting that Xu’s wounds were caused by metal pieces that hit Xu’s face as the airbag deployed.
According to the New York Times, eleven automakers have recalled more than 14 million vehicles worldwide because of the rupture risks.
Four deaths have been tied to the defect, including the one in Alhambra. The defect causes the airbag’s steel canister to crack and explode into pieces when the device deploys in a crash.
According to the New York Times, the airbags are inflated by means of a propellant, based on a common compound used in fertilizer, which is encased in the canister, which together are known as the inflator.
Former Takata employees told the Times that they conducted secret tests that revealed the rupture risks of the airbag, but that superiors ordered them to discard the findings. Takata is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
An autopsy report suggested that Xu's wounds were caused by metallic portions of the airbag that hit his face as it deployed.