Source: Robert Besser

DETROIT, Michigan: Honda has released information about a South Carolina driver who was killed in January by an exploding airbag inflator.

Honda said on April 21 that an airbag inflator canister blew apart during an accident, shooting shrapnel into a 2002 Honda Accord in Lancaster County, South Carolina.

Honda did not provide details of the Jan. 9 crash or identify the dead driver.

After an inspection by Honda officials and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it was determined that the airbag inflator had ruptured, the company said. The death of the driver is the 19th fatality in the United States since 2009 and the 28th throughout the world caused by faulty inflators.

Manufactured by Takata, the inflator used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion which inflates airbags during a crash. However, during an extended period when exposed to moisture in the air, the chemical can become volatile, causing an explosion that rips apart the canister and sends shrapnel into the car.

To replace the canisters, the largest series of auto recalls in U.S. history occurred, involving some 63 million inflators.

However, U.S. officials said that as of 2020, more than 11.1 million had not been replaced. Worldwide, some 100 million inflators have been recalled.

Most of the deaths were reported in the U.S., Australia and Malaysia.

Honda said the Accord in the fatal South Carolina crash was recalled in April of 2011. Since June of 2011, the company noted that it made more than 100 attempts to reach the owners of the Accord to have the inflator replaced.