A fatal accident near Los Angeles last year of a 2002 Acura sedan involved a Takata air bag, the third death in the United States linked to a defective safety component made by the Japanese supplier, according to local officials and the automaker.
Devin Xu, 47, died in an accident in the parking lot of a bank in the commercial part of Alhambra in September 2013 even though he was wearing his seat belt, and the Los Angeles County Coroner's Department report cited "apparent facial trauma due to foreign object inside air bag."
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The report also cited "approximately two tears on the air bag itself" and blamed Xu's death on head injuries sustained when his car accelerated, struck three cars and collided with a building. U.S. safety regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating whether Takata air bag inflators made between 2000 and 2007 were improperly sealed, which could lead to the bag inflating with excessive force and potentially spraying metal shrapnel at occupants.