Another death linked to exploding air bag

DETROIT - Another person's death is being blamed on an exploding air bag made by Takata Corp.

An unidentified 17-year-old girl from Texas is the latest victim of the malfunctioning air bag inflators. She was driving a 2002 Honda Civic in Fort Bend County when the car crashed and the air bag activated on March 31, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It's the 10th known death in the U.S. from a Takata inflator and the 11th worldwide. More than 100 people have been hurt.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel at drivers and passengers. So far 14 automakers have recalled 24 million U.S. vehicles in what is now the largest auto recall in the country's history.

In February, General Motors (GM) recalled about 200,000 Saab and Saturn cars in the U.S. and Canada to replace the Takata driver's air bag inflators.The latest round of recalls also includes vehicles from Honda, Audi, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Trucks. About 7.1 million inflators have been replaced, and the government says the recalls almost certainly will be expanded.

The Civic collided with another car, setting off the air bags, according to the safety agency. Honda's records show that it was first recalled in 2011, but despite several recall notices, repairs were never completed.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office notified NHTSA of the crash on Friday, and investigators inspected the car Wednesday, according to the agency.

NHTSA says the crash shows how important it is for people to get Takata recall repairs made as quickly as possible.

Car owners can go to www.safercar.gov and key in their vehicle identification number to check for any unrepaired recalls. A list of affected vehicles is available at NHTSA's site.

Other deaths linked to Takata's air bags:

- May 27, 2009: Ashley Parham, 18, of Midwest City, Oklahoma, 2001 Honda Accord
- Dec. 24, 2009: Gurjit Rathore, 33, of Richmond, Virginia, 2001 Honda Accord
- Sept. 13, 2013: Hai Ming Xu, of Alhambra, California, 2002 Acura TL
- July 27, 2014: Law Suk Leh of Sibu, Malaysia, 2003 Honda City
- Sept. 7, 2014: Jewel Brangman, 26, of California, 2001 Honda Civic
- Sept. 29, 2014: Hien Thi Tran, 51, of Orlando, Florida, 2001 Honda Accord
- Jan. 18, 2015: Carlos Solis, 35, of Spring, Texas, 2002 Honda Accord
- April 15, 2015: Kylan Langlinais, 23, of Lafayette, Louisiana, 2005 Honda Accord
- July 22, 2015: Unidentified 13-year-old boy, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, 2001 Honda Accord
- Dec. 22, 2015: Joel Knight, 52, of Kershaw, South Carolina, 2006 Ford Ranger