NHTSA Seeks Recall for 52 Million ARC Airbag Inflators
The NHTSA first demanded the ARC airbag inflator recall in May 2023; however, ARC refused to issue the recall, stating that no defect existed in the inflators and that any problems were related to isolated manufacturing issues, according to FOX Business [1.].
At least 2 people have been killed in the United States and Canada, and 7 others have been severely injured by exploding ARC inflators, NHTSA said.
"Airbag inflators that rupture when commanded to deploy are plainly defective, as they both fail to protect vehicle occupants as they should and, themselves, pose an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death," the NHTSA said.
What's the Problem with ARC Airbag Inflators?
ARC Airbag inflators use gas and propellant to fill the airbag cushion during a crash. ARC Automotive manufactured the inflators through a friction-welding process, which fuses components of the airbag inflator using heat and rotation.
However, the problem is that ARC’s friction-welding process inadequately joins the airbag inflator components together and creates excess weld flash, which can exit the inflator upon deployment or rupture the inflator entirely. Due to the location and proximity to vehicle occupants, the inflator defect places occupants at risk of severe injuries and even death.
Which Vehicles Contain Defective ARC Airbags?
The ARC airbag inflators that the NHTSA is seeking to have recalled were installed in vehicles from model years 2000 through 2018 manufactured by a dozen automakers, including:
- General Motors
- Ford Motor
- Toyota Motor
U.S. Regulators Order Recall of 67 Million ARC Airbag Inflators: NBC News Video
Defective Airbag Injuries
Common injuries that can be sustained by vehicle occupants due to a defective ARC airbag may include:
- Face injuries (eye damage, blindness, or facial fracture)
- Burn and laceration injuries
- Chest injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal injuries
- Burns to the face, hands, legs, and arms
- Brain swelling
- Rib fracture
- Hearing loss
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Irritated lungs from chemicals released by the airbag
GM Recalls 1 Million Vehicles for Airbag Defect
General Motors announced on March 23, 2023, it would recall nearly 1 million sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in the U.S. after the driver of a 2017 Chevrolet Traverse was involved in a crash in which the front-driver airbag inflator ruptured during deployment causing facial injuries.
The recall affects 994,763 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia vehicles from the 2014 through 2017 model years with modules produced by ARC Automotive.
ARC Airbag Class Action Lawsuit
In June 2023, more than 100 plaintiffs from 36 states filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of owners or lessees of vehicles with defective driver or passenger-side ARC Automotive airbag inflators. The class action alleges that defective airbag inflators were manufactured by ARC, and/or its subsidiaries, successors, or affiliates.
Based on known reports, NHTSA’s ongoing investigation, and pre-release design and testing, ARC Automotive has long known about the inflator defect risk, yet failed to warn the public or issue a recall for its airbag inflators, according to the class action.
The lawsuit is In RE: ARC AIRBAG INFLATORS PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION. Case No. 3051, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Can I File an ARC Airbag Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed as a result of a defective ARC airbag inflator, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries. Fill out the contact form below or call (866) 588-0600 for a free case evaluation.
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Get a Free ARC Airbag Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Products Liability Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in ARC Airbag Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one was injured by an exploding ARC airbag, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.