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Kia Airbag Lawsuit Update: Get the Right Lawyer

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is demanding that ARC Automotive, Inc. issue a recall for about 67 million potentially defective air bag inflators installed in Kia vehicles and many other models, following reports of the devices causing airbags to rupture and eject metal debris into the passenger compartment, resulting in multiple severe injuries and at least 1 death.
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NHTSA Requests Airbag Inflator Recall Following Reports of Injuries, Death

The NHTSA sent an airbag recall request to ARC Automotive stating that the agency had identified a defect in ARC’a airbag inflators which poses a significant safety risk for consumers. However, ARC denied the request, indicating that no defect existed in the inflators and that any problems were related to isolated manufacturing issues.

NHTSA indicated that it may take other actions against ARC if they fail to initiate a recall in a timely manner. If the company still decides that a defect is not present in the inflators and declines to recall the products, they must explain in writing exactly why they do not believe there is a danger, along with additional data detailing their analysis of the issue.

Related ArticleMalfunctioned Airbags Recall Lawsuit Update

ARC Airbag Problems

NHTSA launched an investigation into the safety of ARC airbags in August 2016, following reports of consumers sustaining severe injuries to their face, head, and legs, in addition to at least 1 death that was linked to a ruptured airbag.

What’s Causing the Airbag Malfunctions?

The investigation revealed that a defect occurred in the airbag inflators due to the manufacturing process. During the welding process, a blockage of metal debris can occur within the air bag inflator. When the airbag deploys, the blockage can over pressurize the inflator, causing the airbag to over-inflate and rupture, ejecting metal debris at high speed at the vehicle’s driver and passenger.

Airbag Inflator Injuries

NHTSA officials have outlined multiple injury reports linked to potentially defective ARC airbag inflators. On August 15, 2021, a driver side airbag inflator in a 2015 Chevrolet Traverse ruptured in Michigan, resulting in the death of the driver.

In another incident that occurred on October 20, 2021, a driver side airbag inflator in a 2015 Chevrolet Traverse ruptured in Kentucky, causing serious facial injuries to the driver.

Related Article: Porsche Airbag Lawsuit

Have Any Vehicles Been Recalled Due to Faulty Airbags?

Although ARC has maintained that a defect is not present in the airbag inflators, multiple automobile manufacturers that use air bags manufactured by ARC have already issued recalls of their own impacting thousands of vehicles to address the defect:

  • In March 2017, BMW recalled its MY X5, sDrive35i, X5 xDrive35i, X5 xDrive50i, X5 xDrive35d, and X5 xDrive40e vehicles from model year 2017.
  • In August 2017, Ford issued a recall for the model year 2017 Mustang and F-150 vehicles.
  • General Motors has issued 4 separate recalls since 2018.
  • Volkswagen has recalled various vehicle models due to the airbag inflator defect.

Airbag Problems Plague the U.S. Auto Industry

The controversy over ARC airbag inflators comes as many auto manufacturers continue to replace defective Takata airbags which have been linked to at least 28 deaths and more than 400 injuries worldwide.

Over the past decade, over 100 million Takata airbags installed in tens of millions of vehicles have been recalled worldwide, after it was found that nitrate used to inflate the airbags can degrade due to exposure to heat and humidity, which can cause an explosion of metal debris.

The Takata airbag recall has been the largest ever recorded in the U.S., affecting over 20 automobile manufacturers. However, if approximately 67 million ARC airbags are recalled in the near future, the auto industry could be plagued with many more troublesome airbag repairs.

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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 Kia 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 Kia airbag, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

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