It has come to light that a staggering number of Americans, over 30 million to be exact, could be operating vehicles with potentially defective airbags. This is a serious concern that demands immediate attention.
ARC Defective Airbags vs The NHTSA
The story begins in 2009 when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation into defective airbag inflators manufactured by ARC Automotive, Inc. This was triggered by two incidents of airbags rupturing unexpectedly.
Fast forward to today, and the NHTSA is pressing ARC Automotive to recall approximately 67 million of these inflators. The reason behind this urgency is the fear that these malfunctioning airbags could explode, ejecting dangerous shrapnel, which poses a significant risk to both drivers and passengers.
Where Does ARC Automotive Stand?
ARC Automotive, however, holds a different view. They argue that their investigation has not identified any common defect in the 67 million airbag inflators. They attribute the explosions to isolated manufacturing errors that have been addressed through specific recalls by vehicle manufacturers.
According to ARC Automotive, the explosions are not a result of a widespread defect, but rather isolated manufacturing errors. They believe these errors are anomalies, not indicative of a systemic issue with their inflators.
In their view, these are random, one-off incidents that have already been addressed through specific recalls initiated by the vehicle manufacturers.
In a letter to the NHTSA, ARC Automotive has stated, “ARC believes they resulted from random ‘one-off’ manufacturing anomalies that were properly addressed by vehicle manufacturers through lot-specific recalls.”
This statement suggests that ARC Automotive sees the incidents as isolated and not representative of a broader problem with their airbag inflators.
However, it’s important to note that this perspective is currently at odds with the NHTSA’s viewpoint. The NHTSA maintains that the risk is significant enough to warrant a recall of the inflators, pointing to the potential danger of airbags exploding and ejecting shrapnel.
Could My Car Have Faulty Airbags?
The question on many people’s minds is whether their vehicle is among those affected. General Motors has taken the initiative to recall almost a million Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC SUVs due to these faulty airbag inflators.
However, the NHTSA believes that the recall should extend to many more vehicles.
The challenge we face is that there’s no comprehensive list of all the affected vehicles yet. This leaves owners of other models from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Ford, Toyota, Stellantis, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Hyundai, and Kia in a state of uncertainty.
Could This Become a Lemon Law Claim?
What happens next? If ARC Automotive doesn’t initiate a voluntary recall, the NHTSA may convene a public hearing or even resort to legal action. As of now, no decision has been made.
If you or someone you know has been affected by a defective vehicle or part, it would be advisable to consult with a lawyer specializing in Lemon Law claims. They can help you understand your options and guide you through the legal process.