Takata may not be the only airbag manufacturer with faulty products.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is upgrading a probe of over eight-million airbag inflators manufactured by ARC Automotive Inc. after a driver was killed in Canada last month. The airbag inflator ruptured in a 2009 Hyundai Elantra and Canadian regulators are investigating the possible issue.
The investigation covers inflators used by General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Hyundai and Kia, with at least eight-million inflators used by those automakers through 2004. There is a possibility that the investigation could include newer vehicles.
According to NHTSA, ARC Automotive’s inflators are a hybrid design that uses high-pressure stored gas with a small amount of ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbags. The agency’s preliminary investigation shows “significant design differences between the ARC inflators and the Takata inflators currently under recall.”
The investigation was initially opened in July 2015 and involved 490,000 vehicles after two reported injuries involving a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country and a 2004 Kia Optima. Those inflators, produced by ARC, ruptured in Tennessee.
The report noted that the inflator in the fatal accident was assembled in China, and the Elantra sold in the U.S. did not use the Chinese-made inflator. It is however, unclear if any of the Chinese-made inflators were ever sold in U.S. vehicles.
[Source: Automotive News]