In relation to the current investigation into airbag inflators that could potentially explode in an accident, almost a dozen automakers and suppliers were questioned. This week, the U.S. auto safety regulators sent letters to the companies requesting information regarding the number of vehicles produced with the potentially defective components made by ARC Automotive Inc.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is interested in knowing how the manufacturers determined if the airbags would deploy normally in a collision without rupturing and injuring passengers.
These letters demonstrate how, despite the recall of tens of millions of vehicles due to defective parts, airbags at risk of exploding still haunt the automotive industry. Separately, the NHTSA started looking into airbag inflators from parts that covered millions of other vehicles produced as far back as 2004 in 2015. The investigation’s most recent letters concentrate on components produced by ARC between 2010 and 2018.
Apparently, a number of fatalities were linked to Takata Corp.’s (now-expired) defective parts. The safety agency stated that “extensive information on Takata production methods and surveys of inflators in the field” are essential for the investigation. According to NHTSA’s claim, the 30 million vehicles include both those that already had the inflators installed when they were produced and some that underwent previous recall repairs.
The biggest vehicle safety recall in history has involved the recall of more than 67 million Takata airbag inflators over the past ten years in the US and more than 100 million worldwide because these airbags can send dangerous metal fragments into the air.
However, the NHTSA reported that as of last year (2021), there had been more than 400 injuries worldwide and at least 28 documented deaths, including 19 in the United States.
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