Millions of defective ARC airbags were installed in vehicles from Toyota and 11 other auto-makers, according to U.S. safety officials.
Need a Texas Toyota Airbag Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you were injured or a loved one died when a Toyota airbag exploded or failed to deploy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Airbag Lawsuits Filed by People Hit by Metal Shrapnel
A growing number of lawsuits have been filed by people who were seriously injured or died when they were hit by metal from an airbag.
One of the most tragic incidents was the death of a mother in Michigan who was hit in the neck by metal that blew out of an airbag inflator manufactured by ARC Automotive. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed by her family, including her husband and 10 children.
U.S. Safety Officials Seek Recall for 52 Million Airbags
U.S. safety officials are seeking a recall for about 52 million airbag inflators that were made by ARC Automotive and Delphi Automotive, due to the deadly risk of metal shrapnel being ejected when the airbag deploys. These airbags have been linked to at least 2 deaths and 7 injuries in the U.S. and Canada since 2009.
Does My Toyota Have a Defective Airbag?
Toyota and other auto-makers have not yet provided a complete list of vehicle makes and models that were equipped with defective airbag inflators from ARC and Delphi Automotive.
Has My Vehicle Been Recalled?
So far, only limited recalls have been issued for ARC airbags by GM, Volkswagen, and Ford, in response to specific incidents.
In the future, Toyota may be forced to announce recalls and provide a list of Toyota vehicles with defective airbags if U.S. safety officials force ARC and Delphi to recall the airbag inflators.
When Were These Airbag Inflators Manufactured?
About 41 million airbag inflators were made from 2000 to 2018 by ARC Automotive, a company that is now owned by the Chinese real estate investor Yinyi Group. Another 11 million airbag inflators were made by Delphi Automotive under a licensing agreement with ARC that existed until 2004.
What is the Problem?
The top auto-safety regulator in the U.S. has been investigating ARC airbag inflators since 2015. After eight years, the agency concluded that around 52 million airbag inflators were dangerously defective.
The problem was linked to a manufacturing issue with the airbag inflator, which is a metal canister that contains explosive chemicals. When the airbag is triggered, chemicals inside this metal canister are supposed to ignite and produce gases that rapidly fill up the airbag.
Unfortunately, welding debris left behind in the airbag inflator can sometimes plug up an exit hole for gases to escape from the inflator.
So instead of filling up the airbag, gases get trapped inside the airbag inflator and cause the metal canister to blow apart. This explosion can eject sharp pieces of metal shrapnel through the airbag and into the vehicle, causing severe injuries or death to the driver and passengers.
Defective Airbags May Fail to Inflate After Car Accidents
Airbag inflators that rupture will also fail to inflate the airbag, so even if people inside the vehicle avoid being hit by metal shrapnel, they will not be protected by the airbag. This presents a life-threatening safety risk, especially in the event of a severe car accident.
ARC Automotive Claims Inflators Are Not Defective
ARC initially refused to recall the airbag inflators, despite a request from the U.S. government in April 2023. ARC denied that the inflators were defective, and instead blamed “isolated” manufacturing issues.
ARC Fixes Manufacturing Problem in 2018
Even so, ARC updated their manufacturing process in January 2018 to reduce the risk of welding debris being left behind inside the airbag. No inflators made since 2018 have been linked to ruptures, injuries, or deaths, according to the NHTSA.
Need a Toyota Airbag Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years of experience, participation in over 600 jury trials, and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our law firm for a free case review.