Relatives of a teen killed by a faulty airbag after a minor crash in Fort Bend County are urging others to stay on top of recalls.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed Wednesday that Huma Hanif is the 10th U.S. fatality tied to ruptures of recalled airbag inflators.
Hanif, 17, was killed by flying shrapnel from the airbag after a fender bender last week on FM 762 near Gonyo Road. The NHTSA confirmed that Hanif’s 2002 Honda Accord had a defective air bag.
"My family is going through a lot. Everyone has showed us great support. I would like for anyone watching this to pray for my sister and my family," said Faizan Hanif, the teen’s older brother.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and the victim's family are now stressing the importance of checking for recalls on residents' motor vehicles. Family members say they never received a recall notice.
"I would just like to urge everyone, whether or not you receive a recall notice, if you have a car that has a defective airbag, get it fixed before you lose a loved one," Faizan Hanif said.
Most recall notices are issued via regular mail by vehicle manufacturers, but Hanif’s family claims they never saw a notice.
At Thursday’s press conference, FBCSO Deputies showed media the metal that flew from the airbag. They also displayed Hanif's blood-covered airbag.
Deputies are now urging residents to go to the website SaferCar.gov to see if there are any pending recalls on their vehicles.
Many KHOU 11 News viewers have pointed out that even after responding to recall notices they've been placed on a waiting list due to a lack of available parts. Some dealers are offering rental cars during the waiting period.
Hanif, a popular senior at George Ranch High School, was heading to work at Subway when she crashed.
"And I got, like, a heavy feeling in my heart when she wasn't picking up the phone," said Tiffany Reyes, her best friend.
She would have graduated next month and planned to go to college to be a nurse.
"She liked to help people," her brother said. "She's the one that takes care of my parents."