Refusal to comply with the order by Knoxville, Tennessee-based ARC Automotive, the manufacturer of the equipment, Potentially puts 33 million people at risk in the United States who drive vehicles equipped with inflators,
The Problem With ARC Automotive Inflators
Questioned Inflators, According to NHTSA can explode with enough force to set off a small metal canister hazardous metal waste removal,
The regulatory body argues that the withdrawal is justified because Two people have died in the United States and Canada and at least seven others have been injured by ARC inflators.
The NHTSA says that welding byproducts during manufacturing can clog a vent inside the inflator cartridge that is designed to vent gas to quickly inflate an airbag in a crash. pressure can build up to the point where the container bursts,
After eight years of investigation, NHTSA tentatively concludes The defect affects inflators from cars manufactured between 2002 and January 2018 That’s when ARC installed equipment in its factories that could detect potential safety issues.
ARC says there is no such security flaw
The manufacturer claims that NHTSA’s lawsuit is based on a hypothesis, not a technical finding and that the agency does not have the authority to order a recall, which is the responsibility of automakers.
In a letter to NHTSA, the ARC said that no automaker found a common defect in the 67 million questioned inflators and that No underlying cause has been identified for the inflator burst which were the result of “random ‘one-off’ manufacturing discrepancies that were adequately addressed by vehicle manufacturers through specific lot recalls.”
A statement from NHTSA said both ARC and the automaker are responsible for the recall and the agency Has the power to order a recall by a parts manufacturer Which supplies to many automobile manufacturers.
The next step is for NHTSA to issue a final decision on whether the inflators are defective and then hold a public hearing. The regulator can take the ARC to court for a recall order.
What Happens When the Conflict Between the ARC and NHTSA Is Resolved
Because ARC supplies inflators that are included with airbags made by other manufacturers, There’s No Easy Way To Alert Owners That Their Vehicles Are Equipped With ARC Manufactured Inflators,
To make matters more complicated, neither the NHTSA nor the ARC nor the auto manufacturers Full list of affected models has been released And it’s unclear whether such a list exists or when it might become available.
The dispute between NHTSA and the ARC has prompted automakers to attempt to determine which of their vehicles have questionable inflators.
When asked by The Associated Press, spokesmen for Ford, Kia and Toyota acknowledged that some of their vehicles are equipped with ARC inflators. Ford and Kia They said they are still investigating And Ford said none of its vehicles “had an ARC airbag inflator explode on the road.”
Other automakers said they were trying to find a cause and were working with the government. Other did not respond to requests for information d Associated Press.
ARC and Takata both used ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbags, but according to Brooks, Takata’s was more dangerous because the chemical in its inflators could degrade over time when exposed to high heat and humidity. .
Unlike the Takata, the ARC uses ammonium nitrate only as a secondary chemical to inflate the airbags. In case of ARC, the problem stems from a manufacturing defect.,
From 2017 to 2022, ARC issues prompted seven spurious recalls by automakers.
The most recent of these happened on Friday, the same day NHTSA announced its action against ARC after General Motors announced a recall of some GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave SUVs from 2014 to 2017 because of ARC inflator bursts. Could have
One of the dead was Marlene Beaudoin, a 40-year-old mother of 10 from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, who was hit by metal fragments when her 2015 Chevrolet Traverse SUV was involved in a minor crash in 2021. Her four children who were with her were not hurt.
General Motors, which says so You don’t know what caused the inflator to explode An engineering company was hired to help with the investigation.
While the dispute between NHTSA and the ARC is resolved, Brooks recommends vehicle owners of potentially affected manufacturers General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Stellantis, Volkswagen, BMW, Hyundai / Kia Insist that your dealer inform you whether your particular vehicle has an ARC inflator.
, The more customers complain, the more they put pressure on manufacturers“, Said.