67 million airbags recalled by the nhtsa

Millions of motorists in Maryland may be affected by a recall announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Documents published in May 2023 show the NHTSA and manufacturer ARC Automotive locked in a dispute over airbag inflators. The NHTSA began investigating the airbag inflators in July 2015. The investigation was upgraded in August 2016. The NHTSA is demanding the recall of 67 million airbag inflators with a safety defect that poses an unreasonable risk of injury or death.

THE ARC AIRBAG RECALL

ARC Automotive maintains that it has not identified any defect that would require a recall of this size. According to the demand letter sent to ARC by the NHTSA, the airbag inflators create an unreasonable risk of injury or death because they project metal fragments into vehicle occupants rather than properly inflating the airbag. The ARC airbag inflators are used by a dozen vehicle manufacturers in several dozen different models, including BMW, Kia and General Motors, among others.

MORE ON THE AIRBAG INFLATOR RECALL

After the publication, General Motors agreed to recall 1 million vehicles equipped with airbag inflators. In March, an airbag rupture resulted in facial injuries for one GM motorist. ARC says it will continue working with NHTSA to evaluate ruptures from the 67 million inflators produced over 18 years. The investigation initially opened in 2015 due to two injury reports. The investigation was upgraded in 2016 after a driver with defective inflators died in a motor vehicle accident.

ARC maintains that the testing programs they’ve been running have not resulted in one single rupture. These inflators were produced on a multitude of production lines in different locations. ARC has yet to identify the systemic defect that could exist within the broad population. According to the NHTSA, the vehicles in question are the 67 million vehicles produced through January 2018, before ARC began installing devices to detect excessive weld slag.

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