Defective FCA Airbags

FCA Airbag Lawsuit

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Defective FCA Airbags

In May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) demanded the recall of certain frontal and passenger airbag inflators manufactured by ARC and Delphi used in vehicles from 2000 through January 2018 that contain a defect related to motor vehicle safety. However, the vehicle manufacturing company refused after claiming the defect the agency found did not exist in the inflators and that any problems were related to isolated manufacturing issues. 

According to the agency's report, it claims that millions of vehicles on the road, including certain model years of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) vehicles, may be impacted by the defective ARC and Delphi airbag inflators. For more information on the ARC airbag inflator recall or if you believe you are in possession of one of the affected FCA vehicles and have suffered an injury, contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney today.

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  • What Is the Cause of the ARC Airbag Inflator Defect?

    Based on an investigation conducted by the NHTSA, it believes that ruptures may result from the weld slag produced by the friction welding manufacturing process. The report states, “Should weld slag of a sufficient size become dislodged, it can cause a blockage of the inflator exit orifice when the airbag deploys. A blockage of sufficient size will cause over pressurization and rupture of the inflator, leading to the potential forced propulsion of shrapnel or metal fragments from the inflator into the passenger compartment.” Roughly seven people have been injured by the rupturing air bag inflators, and there has been one reported death in the United States. 

    However, ARC claims that the NHTSA’s investigation reports are false and refuses to abide by their demands to issue a recall for the millions of airbag inflators used in vehicles on the road today. On October 5, 2023, the NHTSA will hold a public meeting to review their original findings.

  • Which FCA Vehicles Are Affected by the ARC Airbag Inflators?

    According to the NHTSA, the ARC inflators were installed in vehicles from 2000 through early 2018 and produced by 12 automakers, including the FCA vehicles. Customers can verify if their vehicle is affected using the auto company’s online safety recall tool and entering their vehicle's 17-character Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Customers can also contact their local FCA dealership to confirm if their vehicle may be affected by the ARC airbag inflators. For more information about the ARC airbag inflators or if you have questions regarding what your next steps are, contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney today. 

  • Is This the Same Issue As the Takata Airbags?

    While both the ARC and Takata issues involve airbag inflators, both recalls stem from different issues. Created by the now-bankrupt Japanese company known as the Takata Corporation, the Takata airbag inflators were installed in vehicles from 2002 through 2015. An investigation by the NHTSA deemed that the millions of vehicles fitted with Takata airbag inflators were a safety risk for drivers and their passengers and should be recalled. 

    The root cause of the exploding Takata airbags comes from the design and the chemical compound the company used to inflate the airbags. The airbag design had a metal cartridge loaded with ammonium-nitrate-based propellant, a "cost-efficient" fertilizer and highly flammable chemical typically found in bombs. Takata did not include a chemical drying agent when loading the compound into the metal cartridge. 

    Without the drying agent, things like environmental changes, high temperatures, the aging of the airbag, or an accident could cause the inflator's housing to rupture. This rupture can propel metal shards from the airbag throughout the passenger cabin, leaving those in the vehicle with severe injuries or, in some cases, can lead to death.

  • What Is an Airbag Inflator?

    Since the 1999 model year, the federal government has required automakers to install driver and passenger airbags for frontal impact protection in all vehicles. In order for an airbag to deploy, it requires an inflator. The inflator is installed inside an airbag to produce a quantity of gas with a certain composition, temperature, and controlled rate. In the case of an accident or certain injury scenarios, the inflator will fill the airbag system to sufficiently cushion an automobile occupant. 

  • Should I Disable My Vehicle’s Airbags?

    No. While the ARC airbag inflators do pose a risk to drivers' safety, disabling your airbags could put you at further risk of severe injuries in accidents. If you are concerned about the safety of your vehicle's airbags, we highly urge you to contact your FCA car dealership to learn more about what your best options are. According to the NHTSA, drivers will have no warning signs if the airbag is defective. Therefore, if you are concerned, take prompt action and ensure your vehicle’s airbags are safe.

  • What Injuries Can Defective Airbags Cause?

    Airbags are safety features in vehicles created with the purpose of aiding in our protection during an accident. However, when airbags with defects are installed into vehicles, they can not only fail to protect us during an accident but cause even more harm to the driver or passengers. The most common injuries drivers and their passengers have experienced due to a defective airbag include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Black eyes
    • Brain injury or concussion
    • Broken bones
    • Burns
    • Compound fractures
    • Death
    • Facial or cranial fractures
    • Hearing loss
    • Neck Injury
    • Permanent scarring
    • Rib, sternum and/or clavicle fractures
    • Serious cuts or avulsions
    • Spinal fractures
    • Vision damage 
    • Vocal damage

    If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or have lost their life due to a defective airbag, our attorneys may be able to help. Learn more today by completing our free case evaluation form.

  • What Forms of Compensation Are Victims Eligible To Recover?

    If you have suffered an injury or have lost a loved one due to a defective airbag, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation in the form of medical expenses, loss of wages, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, permanent disability, emotional distress, and more.  FCA customers can contact a Morgan & Morgan airbag lawsuit attorney to learn more about what they may be able to claim.

  • Should I Contact a Morgan & Morgan Attorney?

    While you can file a claim on your own, contacting an attorney can significantly boost your chances of recovering the damages you or your loved ones have suffered due to the defective ARC airbag inflators. In order to ensure you are maximizing your chances when fighting back against major auto companies, victims can place their trust in the hands of a Morgan & Morgan attorney.

    For over 35 years, our law firm has been dedicated to helping our clients get the justice they deserve after they've been injured in an accident. At Morgan & Morgan, our law firm has a track record of taking on the automotive industry and ensuring our clients have the best opportunity to recover the most out of their injury cases. Our attorneys have the experience and the largest resources in the country to help you take on major auto companies like FCA, ARC, and Delphi.

    For more information on how a Morgan & Morgan attorney can help your case, or if you have questions regarding the ARC airbag inflators recall, contact our law firm today by completing our free, no-obligation case evaluation form.

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