American Honda Motor Co. is investigating whether a fifth driver might have been killed when the air bags in his car deployed in an accident in Texas this month, the company told NBC News.
The automaker has recalled millions of Hondas and Acuras equipped with air bags made by Takata Corp. of Japan, which can send metal and plastic parts spraying inside the cars when deployed. Chris Martin, a spokesman for Honda, said the company had confirmed three deaths and 52 injuries in the U.S. caused by Takata air bags. Two other deaths — in the Texas crash and another in California — are suspected to be related to the problem but haven't been confirmed, he said.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office said Carlos Solis, 35, died the night of Jan. 18 when his 2002 Honda Accord — which was recalled in 2011 for air bag problems — struck a 2003 Infiniti G35 as he tried to turn into a apartment complex. Honda said it has no record that the recall repair was ever done.
The sheriff's office said the accident remains under investigation, and Honda said it was too early to know whether the air bags contributed to Solis' death.
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— M. Alex Johnson and Talesha Reynolds