After the public recalls following Takata’s Corp’s defective airbags, U.S. regulators are now looking for rupture into airbag inflators produced by ARC Automotive to see if the manufacturer is facing the same issues as Takata Corp.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on Tuesday that the probes taken from ARC will regard airbags in about 420,000 Fiat Chrysler Town models and Country minivans from 2002 and other 70,000 Kia Optima midsize sedans from 2014.
While ARC Automotive did not comment on the news, Fiat Chrysler’s spokesman, Eric Mayne, stated for Reuters that the brand is cooperating with the NHTSA investigation and that it will no longer use that inflator from ARC.
While GM was in a similar public recall, Takata has doubled its recall of potentially deadly airbags to almost 34 million vehicles after a number of 8 deaths had been linked to the faulty inflators that can explode on impact and fire metal shrapnel into passenger compartments. This made it the biggest auto recall in the U.S. history up to date. NHTSA said that it has received two complaints regarding the ARC inflators, the first in December in 2014 involving an incident that took place in 2009 and a second one having taken place in June this year. There were two known injuries related to these incidents, but no fatalities up to date. The agency stated that it is unknown at the moment if there is a common root cause for these incidents and that it is opening an investigation to gather facts from all involved suppliers and carmakers.
By Gabriela Florea