The brother's comments came as federal safety regulators called
current methods of alerting consumers about vehicle safety recalls
They also contradicted a statement from Honda Motor Co that said
notices to replace the air bag were sent to the owners of the 2002
Honda Civic involved in the accident in which Huma Hanif, a high
school senior, was killed.
Hanif's death was the 10th in the United States linked to defective
air bags made by Takata. Automakers have repaired or replaced about
a quarter of the estimated 29 million defective Takata air bags
recalled, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety
Hanif, of Richmond, Texas, died on March 31 after the 14-year-old
Civic she was driving hit the rear of another vehicle at an
intersection, causing the air bag to deploy. Texas officials
released new details about the accident on Thursday.
Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls and other officials told a
news conference that Hanif, 17, should have survived the relatively
minor accident that crumpled the car's hood. However, an autopsy
showed that her jugular vein and carotid artery were cut by metal
shrapnel from the air bag's inflator.
In a video, a sheriff's department official was shown holding a
blood stained air bag. Another official displayed a jagged piece of
metal identified as the object found in Hanif's neck.
Faizan Hanif, the victim's brother, said the family had not received
a recall notice from Honda. "I wish we had received a notice from
Honda so we could have avoided this tragedy," he told reporters. He
urged others to get cars with defective air bags fixed "before you
lose a loved one."
Honda said owners of the Civic, including the current owner, had
been mailed multiple notices since 2011 about air bag-related
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Pictures released by the Sheriff's office on Thursday showed the
vehicle with deployed air bags but little other apparent damage to
the passenger compartment. Nehls reiterated earlier comments that
everyone involved in the accident should have walked away from it.
Separately, a NHTSA spokesman told Reuters the agency plans to be
louder and more public about requiring manufacturers to do a better
job reaching out to vehicle owners and making sure recalls are
Traditional methods to reach consumers, such as mailings, are
inadequate, spokesman Bryan Thomas said. "More must be done," he
A Honda spokesman said on Wednesday the automaker has more than
doubled the size of its customer relations team working to get
owners to respond to requests to get recalled cars with Takata air
bags fixed at no cost.
On April 14, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind will testify before a
congressional subcommittee chaired by Michael C. Burgess of Texas,
who signaled in a statement on Thursday the Takata air bag issue
will be on his agenda.
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Detroit and David Shepardson in
Washington; Editing by Tom Brown)
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