According to the New York Times, the first instance of a Takata airbag malfunction was in a 2004 Honda Accord. The airbag in the vehicle exploded, severely injuring the driver. Honda could not explain how or why the incident happened.
In what has the potential to be a fatal flaw, portions of the Takata airbags have ruptured when deployed causing metal shards to be sprayed throughout the passenger cabin. To date, 8 deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to Takata airbags.
Takata has admitted that its airbags can cause injury or death and that it has been aware of this problem for some time, referring to the incidents as “anomalies”.
In July of this year, NHTSA expressed concerns on vehicles equipped with Takata airbags, particularly those vehicles located in areas with high humidity, such as Florida and Hawaii. In 2008, a minor car accident in Orlando, Florida, resulted in an airbag exploding, causing some severe lacerations to the 26-year-old female driver.
This accident involved a Honda Civic, which was not on the original recall list. Since then, many additional Takata airbag injuries have occurred during accidents involving vehicles from multiple manufacturers, both foreign and domestic.