Faulty ARC Airbags

Faulty ARC Airbags: A Potentially Dangerous Safety Feature

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Faulty ARC Airbags: A Potentially Dangerous Safety Feature

What: Vehicles that have been equipped with ARC airbag inflators. 

Who: On May 13, 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) called for an immediate recall of 67 million airbag inflators manufactured by ARC Automotive, Inc. of Knoxville, TN.

Where: The recall of the ARC airbag inflators is currently only taking place in the United States. However, NHTSA still believes due to the number of incidents, a broad recall is necessary.

Why: Drivers are potentially at risk of being injured or killed by the faulty inflator. Metal shards and shrapnel may be propelled at high speeds, causing severe cuts, burns, eye injuries, torn arteries, broken bones, and death. Regardless of fault in an accident, or the number of parties involved, those injured by an exploding airbag may still have a claim.

How Can I Identify the Recalled Product?: View a list of vehicles that have ARC airbag inflators here. *It is important to note that this is not a comprehensive list, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises all vehicle owners to check their 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the NHTSA website to determine if their vehicle is affected.*

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  • Which Auto Companies Have Issued Airbag Recalls?

    Since the investigation has begun, the auto companies General Motors Company, Ford Motor Company, BMW AG, and Volkswagen AG have issued seven relatively small recall campaigns linked to NHTSA’s examination covering about 6,400 vehicles with ARC inflators.

    In July 2022, Volkswagen issued another recall of about 1,200 vehicles in response to an inflator rupture in a 2016 Audi A3 e-tron that caused an injury to the driver.

  • How Many Vehicles Have Been Affected?

    According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with cases dating back from 2009, an estimated 51 million inflators were potentially affected. Records show that those vehicles with the potentially affected inflators were installed in the cars made between the model years 2002 and 2017. While the NHTSA will not confirm the official number of vehicles affected by the faulty inflators, plaintiff attorneys, who have filed pending lawsuits against ARC, believe the estimate affects more than 30 million cars.

  • What Is Causing the Inflators to Explode?

    ARC inflators are similar to hazardous inflators manufactured by the now-bankrupt Takata Corporation of Japan. Both of the devices use a compound known as ammonium nitrate in order to create a small explosion to inflate the bags in a crash, and both can blow apart metal canisters that contain the chemical. However, unlike the Takata airbags, ARC only uses ammonium nitrate as a secondary method to inflate the airbags.

    Ammonium nitrate can deteriorate when exposed repeatedly to high temperatures and humidity, and it can burn too fast, making explosions larger.

  • What Injuries Are Drivers at Risk Of?

    Those drivers are potentially at risk of injury or being killed by the faulty ARC airbags, which may propel metal shards when the airbag deploys. Injuries that have been or may be associated with the ARC airbags include severe cuts, burns, eye injuries, broken bones, torn arteries, and even death.

  • How Do I Know if My Car Has Been Recalled?

    The best way to know if your car has been recalled is to call the manufacturer of your vehicle to see if they have issued a recall. If so, inform them of the year, make, and model of your vehicle, as well as its vehicle identification number, so they can determine if your vehicle qualifies for the recall.

  • How Can a Morgan & Morgan Product Liability Attorney Help?

    Talking to a lawyer could change the trajectory of your entire case. When you hire one of our attorneys, they will get straight to work on your case. Once it has been determined that your claim is valid, your attorney will then evaluate any and all damages incurred and those parties liable for your damages in order to estimate the dollar value of your claim. After they have gathered substantial evidence to prove your case, your attorney will then file a claim against the liable parties, seeking out compensation for your damages.

    You can contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney today to learn more about how we may be able to help your case. For more information, please complete our free, no-obligation case evaluation form today.

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