Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  - Another person has died in Malaysia after a faulty Takata airbag inflator exploded when the Honda it was installed in crashed, raising the known death toll linked to the defect in the Southeast Asian country to six.

Honda Malaysia said on Tuesday the driver was killed when the 2004 Honda City car crashed on New Year's Day in central Selangor state. It said the car was included in a 2015 recall to replace faulty airbags on the driver and passenger side but several letters sent to the original owner didn't reach the new owner after the car was sold because the company's database had not been updated.

"Our records indicate that the recall replacement was never completed," Honda said.

The passenger air bag inflator deployed during the crash, Honda said, and functioned properly. No further details were immediately available.

Penalties

Huge recalls affecting millions of vehicles have been issued around the world because of faulty inflator and propellant devices that may deploy improperly in an accident, shooting out metal fragments that can injure or kill. In 2017 Takata pleaded guilty to fraud in a United States court and agreed to pay more than $1 billion (R11.9 billion) in penalties for concealing the defect, which has been implicated in 22 deaths in the United States and more than 180 injuries worldwide.

Honda appealed to owners of affected Honda vehicles to get their inflators repaired and to update any changes in ownership so that recall letters can reach current owners. The current line-up of Honda cars is not affected, it said, as they do not have the same type of Takata air bag inflators as previous models affected for the recall.

AP