Canada Death Widens Probe into Defective ARC Airbags ARC Automotive Inc.

Canada Death Widens Probe into Defective ARC Airbags

The fatality in Newfoundland province was blamed on the failure of a driver's side airbag manufactured by ARC Automotive Inc.

An investigation into faulty airbags that started last month in the United States expanded on August 4 as Canadian authorities launched a probe after a death resulting from a ruptured inflator.

The fatality in Canada's Atlantic island Newfoundland province was blamed on the failure of a driver's side airbag manufactured by ARC Automotive Inc., Transport Canada said in announcing its investigation.

The motorist was driving a 2009 Hyundai Elantra when the bag exploded.

Transport Canada noted two previous incidents in the United States involving ARC airbags manufactured in Knoxville, Tenn. One was in a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country and another in a 2004 KIA Optima. Both caused serious injury.

The agency said it was in communication with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is probing the US cases.

The NHTSA noted when it opened its investigation last month that the airbags had been installed in 500,000 vehicles.

ARC had produced about eight million driver and passenger side airbags for an unspecified number of Chrysler, GM, Kia and Hyundai vehicles sold in the United States since September 2004.

The airbag in the Canadian case "had ruptured in substantially the same manner as the two previous incidents" in the United States, the NHTSA said.

The airbag in the Hyundai Elantra had been manufactured at an ARC plant in China.

The NHTSA said it does not know if any of the Chinese-made airbags were installed in cars sold in the United States.

The latest case was not related to recent Takata airbag failures, Transport Canada said. Japanese supplier Takata has been entangled for more than two years in a scandal over defective airbags linked to 13 deaths and scores of injuries. The crisis has sparked the recall of some 100 million airbags worldwide.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

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