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US agency pressures company to recall 52 million air bag inflators that can explode and hurl shrapnel, reports say
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US agency pressures company to recall 52 million air bag inflators that can explode and hurl shrapnel, reports say

The U.S. government has made initial moves to force a Tennessee automotive company to recall 52 million air bag inflators that could apparently explode and hurl shrapnel, potentially harming or killing people.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Tuesday that it had made an initial decision that the inflators made by ARC Automotive Inc. are defective. A public hearing is scheduled for October 5, which is the first step required in bringing about a court-ordered recall, according to the Associated Press.

NHTSA suggested to ARC that its inflators, which the agency claims are responsible for at least seven injuries and two deaths in the U.S. and Canada since 2009, be recalled. But ARC has refused to announce a recall on the item, which has set the stage for the issue to be resolved in court.

The automotive company continues to claim that there are no defects in the inflators, suggesting that NHTSA's conclusions are based on hypothesis rather than on a technical investigation. The company has also claimed that the governmental agency does not have the authority to order a parts manufacturer to announce recalls, according to the report.

The agency is attempting to force ARC to recall inflators in driver- and passenger-side air bags from at least a dozen automakers. While the auto industry has not released a full list of vehicle models that contain the type of air bag in question, it is believed that 25 million of the 284 million vehicles on U.S. roads contain them.

Though ARC is resisting a full-scale recall, there have been seven smaller recalls on inflators by automakers since 2017. However, these were reportedly attributed to manufacturing problems. Those recalls included one that General Motors announced back in May, which involved almost 1 million vehicles.

ARC went on to say that during NHTSA's eight-year investigation into the potential defects of the inflators, air bag makers, automakers, and the government had been made aware of any unexplained ruptures that took place on the road. The company also mentioned that no defect has been found that is common to all the inflators and that no root cause of the ruptured inflators has been identified.

A Michigan woman reportedly died after an ARC inflator exploded. She was struck by metal fragments when her 2015 Chevrolet Traverse SUV was involved in a crash in 2021. Four of her sons were also in the vehicle at the time, but none of them were injured.

Auto safety agency urges recall air bag inflators | NewsNation Primewww.youtube.com

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