Killer airbag inflators made by a rival company to the infamous Takata corporation will be recalled in Australia, the United States, and beyond. Volvo will identify almost 1500 cars in Australia to address deadly airbags made by a rival to Takata.
The issue currently affects 1469 Volvo S60 and S80 sedans built between 2004 and 2009. But has the potential to spread to other cars that used safety parts provided by ZF/TRW, a rival parts supplier to Japan’s Takata.
Takata airbag failures triggered the most significant safety recalls in history. Dozens of manufacturers worldwide recalled around 100 million cars, including more than 4 million in Australia, to replace faulty airbag inflators.
The Takata inflators are linked to more than two dozen deaths worldwide, including three in Australia. The new run of recalls related to ZF inflators affects 460,000 cars worldwide, including 1469 in Australia.
A recall notice published by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Volvo blames high temperatures and “elevated moisture levels” in humid climates for decaying airbag inflators.
The explosive airbag inflators can ignite in a faster and more violent fashion than intended. “In the event of a crash with a driver airbag activation where a rupture occurs, the driver might be struck by fragments from the inflator potentially resulting in serious injury or death,” the recall notice said.
One person in the US is believed to have died as a result of the problem. A spokesman for Volvo Australia said the recall only affects cars from a previous product generation. “No cars in our current line-up are affected by this,” he said.
“Volvo Cars will contact owners of all cars subject to the recall, informing them on how to get their vehicles corrected at the time their vehicle is included in the phased recall.
“All cars subject to the recall will be updated through replacing the defective airbag assembly with a new unit.” The manufacturer said, “there is a low likelihood” of inflators rupturing and that it will directly contact customers affected by the problem.