After a near decade-long investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a letter to ARC Automotive Inc., based out of Knoxville, Tennessee, demanding that they issue a recall for 67 million airbag inflators. According to NHTSA findings, the ARC inflators, in the event of a crash, and the over-pressurization of the inflator, it has the potential to rupture, resulting in metal fragments being forcefully propelled into the passenger compartment, which could cause severe injuries or death.
With thousands of vehicles affected by the ARC airbag inflators, it can be challenging to know what to do next to protect yourself and those around you. Below we'll walk you through what you need to do in light of this recall and how you can best stay up to date as this recall develops.
How To Know If Your Car Is Part of the ARC Recall
In regards to the ARC, airbags recall, we have provided a general list of some of the current vehicles that have been affected by the recall. However, the best way for drivers to know if their car has been recalled is to get in contact with their car manufacturers to learn if they have issued any recalls and what other information they may have to help them identify if their car has been affected. In order to verify if your vehicle has been affected by the ARC recall, when contacting your car manufacturer, we recommend you are prepared to offer them the following information regarding your vehicle.
- Year of the vehicle
- Make of the vehicle
- Model of the vehicle
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Customers can also head over to the NHTSA's website and input their vehicle's 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number in their search engine in order to determine if their vehicle(s) have been recalled. Drivers can locate their car's VIN on the lower left of their car's windshield. The VIN can also be located on your car's registration card, as well as shown on your insurance card.
My Car Has Been Affected. What Are My Next Steps?
Once you have identified that your car has been affected by the ARC airbags, your next course of action should be, if you haven't already, to contact your manufacturer to learn more about what remedies they are offering for your vehicle. Auto companies like Ford Motor Company, BMW AG, Volkswagen AG, and General Motors(GM) are offering their customers free replacements of their airbag modules upon inspection from their dealers. GM is even offering "courtesy transportation" on a case-by-case basis to owners who fear driving vehicles that are part of the recall.
Drivers who have found that their vehicles are part of the recall should also seek legal counsel. In the case that you or a loved one have been injured due to the ARC inflators, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Talking to an attorney can help you understand all of your legal options and what your next best step should be regarding your injury case.
ARC Is Pushing Back on the NHTSA’s Recall, What Does This Mean?
Even though NHTSA cited from their eight-year-long investigation that there have been at least nine incidents due to the airbags manufactured by Knoxville-based ARC Automotive rupturing, leading to significant injuries or even death beginning in 2009, ARC Automotive Inc., denies that their airbags are the issue. On May 11, 2023, ARC wrote back to the NHTSA regarding their recall demands claiming they strongly disagree with the Agency's "tentative conclusion" that a safety defect exists in the 67 million toroidal driver and passenger inflators.
While the company disagrees with the NHSTA, in the same letter, they claimed that they understand that the actions taken by the car companies like GM have been taken out of an abundance of caution to address potential concerns about the inflators. So what does this mean for drivers who have the ARC air bag inflators in their vehicles? For their own safety, drivers are still encouraged to contact their vehicle manufacturers or dealerships to confirm whether or not their vehicle has been affected by a recall involving the ARC air bag inflators.
On top of the recalls that have been issued over the airbag inflators, ARC may soon find themselves dealing with more lawsuits in the coming months. If you have been injured after a car crash due to your ARC inflator, we may be able to help you. For more information about this recall, drivers are encouraged to contact a recall attorney today.