Company Refuses to Recall Potentially Deadly Airbag Inflators, Despite Demands by NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is demanding the recall of 67 million potentially defective airbag components; however, the manufacturer of the products, ARC Automotive, is refusing to proceed with the recall.

67 Million Airbag Inflators Could “Explode”, Ejecting Metal at Drivers and Passengers

According to Yahoo Finance, NHTSA reports indicate the ARC airbag inflators suffer from a defect that can cause them to rupture when inflating, ejecting metal particles into the passenger department.

NHTSA is citing nine incidents in which bodily injury was caused by the ARC airbag inflators between 2009 and March 2023. These incidents include two deaths.

While ARC Automotive did add a safety feature that reduces the possibility of airbag rupture in 2018, there are still tens of millions of vehicles on the road with the pre-2018 design.

In a statement to Yahoo Finance, an NHTSA spokesperson did warn that, if not addressed, the ARC airbag inflators could lead to more incidents.

The spokesperson added that “While incidents are rare, the incidents that have occurred have been severe, prompting the agency to issue a recall request.”

NHTSA reports that incidents of airbag ruptures have occurred in vehicles made by Chrysler, Kia, GM, and Audi. In addition, remedial efforts have been made by BMW, Ford, GM, and Volkswagen, including a recall for one million vehicles by GM.

ARC Automotive Refuses to Recall Airbag Inflators

Despite urging by NHTSA, ARC Automotive has, to date, refused to issue a recall for the inflators.

In a May 11th letter to NHTSA, ARC noted that while it did agree with GM’s decision to issue a recall for “potential concerns: about the inflators, the company would not comply with NHTSA’s demand for a full recall.

ARC claimed that NHTSA’s investigation into the defect was “not based upon any objective technical or engineering conclusion”, though the company did seem to acknowledge the incidents NHTSA cited in their reports.

A spokesperson for NHTSA did tell Yahoo Finance that it is “taking action under its authorities to investigate potential defects and oversee recalls as required by the Vehicle Safety Act.”

Contact an Experienced Airbag Recall Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective and dangerous ARC airbag, call Thomas J. Henry today. Our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim and provide you with a free legal consultation. Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, Austin, and Dallas, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.


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