WASHINGTON -- Honda Motor Co. said a driver of a 2002 Accord was seriously injured after a faulty Takata airbag inflator ruptured during a March 3 crash in Las Vegas.
The Japanese automaker on Wednesday said the inflator had not been installed by a dealer but likely was a salvaged part from a junkyard.
Honda said it has purchased more than 60,000 salvaged Takata Corp. airbag modules in an effort to prevent similar incidents.
The inflators, which can explode with excessive force and unleash metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks, are blamed for at least 16 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide. The safety defect has prompted an international recall of about 100 million inflators by more than a dozen major automakers.
The victim, 18, suffered a puncture wound to her trachea in a rear-end crash, according to a police report.
In June 2016, federal regulators said inflators in 2001-03 model Honda and Acura vehicles have up to a 50 percent chance of a dangerous airbag inflator rupture in a crash.
Takata said in a statement it strongly urges all consumers to check a government website to see if their inflators have been recalled.
Honda has said at least 10 deaths and more than 150 injuries in the United States are linked to the inflators in its vehicles.
Earlier this month, a federal judge in Detroit said he plans to name former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee nearly $1 billion in Takata restitution funds as part of a U.S. Justice Department settlement.
In February, Takata pleaded guilty to criminal wrongdoing and to pay $1 billion to resolve a federal investigation into its airbag inflators.
As part of the settlement, Takata agreed to establish two independently administered restitution funds: one for $850 million to compensate automakers for recalls, and a $125 million fund for individuals physically injured by Takata's airbags who have not already reached a settlement.
With the criminal settlement and penalties set in the United States, where the majority of airbag-related fatalities and injuries have occurred, Takata is continuing its search for a buyer or financial backer, a process that has dragged on for a year.
Automakers have recalled 46 million Takata airbag inflators in 29 million U.S. vehicles. By 2019, automakers will recall 64 million to 69 million U.S. inflators in 42 million vehicles, U.S regulators said in December.