CM – Woman killed by defective Takata airbag


An NSW mother whose husband was killed by a Takata airbag – causing a wave of car recalls – has wondered why there had been no coronal investigation into a similar death of a young woman eight years earlier.

Before Wednesday, the Queanbeyan mechanic Goce Velovski was the only person in Australia to have died from a misfiring NADI 5-AT Takata airbag.

However, the Daily Telegraph may reveal that subsequent investigations by the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission revealed that the 2011 death of Ms. Helen Lee Valadares of the Northern Territory was the « misuse of a NADI 5-AT airbag » in a Toyota Starlet included.

After Mr. Velovski’s death, eight manufacturers, including Toyota, voluntarily recalled an estimated 81,500 mostly older cars fitted with azide airbags (NADI) using 5-aminotetrazole (5-AT) as a propellant; 96 percent have now been resolved.

In contrast, about three million vehicles with Takata airbags using phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN) fuel have been forcibly recalled by the government; 99.9 percent of these have been fixed.

One person died of a seedy PSAN airbag: Sydney man Huy Neng Ngo in 2017.

Ms. Valadares was killed when her car crashed into the back of a standing Holden Commodore at an intersection on the outskirts of Darwin.

Her starlet’s brakes worked and Ms. Valadares was buckled up. She was not affected by alcohol or drugs and had not driven too fast. The road was dry and sealed.

Witnesses reported seeing the severed airbag on the vehicle floor, indicating that it had completely disengaged from the steering column.

In written reasons received by The Daily Telegraph, Ms. Ozolins said that « after ruling out environmental hazards and vehicle errors, unfortunately it must be concluded that driver error was the only or essential contributor to the collision that resulted in the death of that loved one. » Boys led « . Mrs. »

When contacted by The Telegraph this week, Ms. Ozolins, who is now a lawyer, said « I’m not here (at the coroner) » and declined to comment further, and referred questions to the NT morgue, which has not replied before the deadline.

The ACCC said it was « not informed of the assistant coroner’s reasons for not having an investigation. »

NT police said in hindsight, regarding Takata airbag problems that were not known at the time, NT police suspect that the accident likely involved a Takata airbag failure.

Toyota said it didn’t become aware of the accident until 2019 and therefore never conducted an investigation.

The ACCC said it « identified the 2011 NT incident » in research conducted after Mr. Velovski’s death.

His BMW was equipped with NADI 5 AT airbags; there was no recall at the time of his death.

After hearing about the death of Ms. Valadares in 2011, Mr. Velovski Suzy’s widow said: « You should have investigated more. »

An investigation into the accident in which her 51-year-old husband was killed is expected to take place later this year.


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ACCC finds third Australian, Helen Lee Valadares, killed by Takata airbag
Woman killed by defective Takata airbag


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