Honda confirmed Thursday that an inflator ruptured in a crash that killed a teenager in July, the ninth fatality linked to air bags made by Japan's Takata. When an inflator ruptures, it can hurl metal and plastic shrapnel at a car's driver or passengers, causing sometimes fatal injuries. "American Honda has confirmed that the Takata driver's front air bag inflator ruptured in the crash of a 2001
Honda Accord Coupe on July 22, 2015 near Pittsburgh," the automaker said in a statement. "Injuries related to this air bag inflator rupture likely resulted in the tragic death of the underage driver." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which inspected the wreck along with Honda officials, has attributed eight deaths in the U.S. to the air bags. All were in Hondas. In addition, another death occurred outside the U.S. The Takata recalls now involve at least 23 million ammonium-nitrate inflators in 19 million vehicles involving 11 automakers. "This young person's death is tragic, and it underscores why we are continuing to work so hard to get these defective inflators off the road," said NHTSA spokesman Gordon Trowbridge when the death was announced earlier this month.