It's not just Takata airbags that can cause problems. Federal safety regulators are examining a recent incident in which a driver in Canada was killed when an ARC Automotive airbag inflator in his Hyundai ruptured.
The airbags are installed in more than 8 million cars manufactured through 2004 by General Motors, FCA, Hyundai, and Kia
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the ARC inflators use a different design than the Takata airbags that have been blamed for 13 deaths and more than 100 injuries and have resulted in more than 100 million recalls. ARC is a U.S. company based in Tennessee.
The Takata airbags use ammonium nitrate in their inflators whereas the ARC inflators use what NHTSA called a hybrid design that uses stored gas and a small amount of ammonium nitrate.
Nevertheless, the Canadian fatality involved an inflator rupture similar to those that have killed American consumers. The vehicle in that incident was a 2009 Hyundai Elantra, but NHTSA said the 2009 Elantra sold in the U.S. did not use the Chinese-made inflator implicated in the Canadian death.
NHTSA first opened its investigation into the ARC airbags in July 2015 following two airbag injuries, one in a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country van and a 2004 Kia Optima. More than 490,000 vehicles containing the ARC inflator were sold in the U.S.
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