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Teen died in Honda because of feature that's been in use for decades

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5 days ago Mark Matousek
Honda Odyssey 2004© Provided by Business Insider Honda Odyssey 2004

A teenager died after becoming stuck in the cargo area of a 2004 Honda Odyssey minivan on Tuesday, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports

Kyle Plush, a 16-year-old high school student from Ohio, was reportedly reaching into the cargo area to retrieve tennis equipment, with his knee on a third-row bench seat, when the seat flipped over and trapped him in the cargo area upside down. Plush reportedly made two 911 calls before he died of asphyxia by chest compression.

The Enquirer investigated a vehicle of the same make, model, and year as the one used by Plush and found that the third-row bench can flip backward without much pressure when a latch on the back of the bench isn't secured. When the latch is secured, the seat did not move during the Enquirer's test.

A Honda spokesperson said there had been no seat-related recalls for the 2004 Odyssey.

"Honda has seen media reports regarding the tragic death of a teenager in a 2004 Honda Odyssey in Cincinnati, Ohio — our hearts go out to the victim’s family during this difficult time," the spokesperson told Business Insider. "Honda does not have any specific information from which to definitively determine what occurred in this incident. We can confirm that there were no seat-related recalls affecting the 2004 Honda Odyssey."

In November, Honda recalled 900,000 Odyssey vehicles from model years 2011 to 2017 due to second-row seats that could tip forward if not secured by a latch. In September, the company announced a $605 million loss due to a recall involving potentially malfunctioning Takata airbag inflators.

Honda first introduced folding rear seats in its vehicles in the 1990s, and they have been a feature in the Odyssey for over two decades.

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