Second Company Probed for Air Bag Inflator Malfunctions - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Second Company Probed for Air Bag Inflator Malfunctions

Posted:
(Photo: CBSNews.com/iStock) (Photo: CBSNews.com/iStock)

DETROIT (AP)- The problem of exploding air bags could be widening beyond Japanese manufacturer Takata Corp.
    
U.S. safety regulators are investigating inflators made by ARC Automotive Inc. that went into about 420,000 older Fiat Chrysler Town and Country minivans and another 70,000 Kia Optima midsize sedans.
    
The probe, revealed in documents posted Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, comes just weeks after Takata agreed to recall 33.8 million inflators in the U.S. in the largest automotive recall in American history. At least eight people have been killed worldwide by flying shrapnel from Takata inflators, and more than 100 injured.
    
The safety agency said it received a complaint in December about a 2009 incident in a 2002 Chrysler minivan but determined it was an isolated case involving an ARC driver's side inflator. Then in June, Kia told the agency about a lawsuit involving a 2004 Optima with an ARC driver's side inflator, so the agency decided to open an investigation. Both cases are the only known incidents involving ARC inflators in vehicles made by either automaker.
    
"At the present time it is unknown if there is a common root cause in these incidents," NHTSA investigators wrote in the documents. "(The agency) is opening this investigation in order to collect all known facts from the involved suppliers and vehicle manufacturers."
    
The agency said two people were hurt in the incidents but no one was killed.
    
Knoxville, Tennessee-based ARC said in a statement that it is cooperating in the probe and pointed to a 60-year record of "serving our customers with products that meet the most stringent global safety standards."
    
Fiat Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne also said the company is cooperating and it no longer uses the inflators that are being investigated. Messages were left seeking comment from Kia.
    
NHTSA said in documents that ARC makes inflators that are used by other companies in their air bag systems. The inflators use an inert gas to fill the air bag which is supplemented by an ammonium nitrate-based propellant. A preliminary analysis of the Chrysler minivan system showed that the path for the inflator gas to exit the inflator may have been blocked by an unknown object, the document said.
    
In the Takata cases, ammonium nitrate is the main propellant, and it can become unstable over time when exposed to high humidity and temperatures. The chemical can burn too fast and blow apart a metal inflator canister. Automakers, NHTSA and Takata are trying to find exactly what causes the malfunctions.
    
Documents show that the Chrysler minivan incident happened on Jan. 29, 2009, in Ohio. A man complained to NHTSA that his wife was injured by flying air bag shrapnel when the minivan collided with a snowmobile while she was turning into their driveway and the air bag deployed. "Most of the shrapnel went into her chest, with the air bag plate breaking apart, striking her in the chin, breaking her jaw in three places," wrote the man, who was not identified in the documents. "If it hadn't been for a great ambulance crew, she would have bled to death."
    
According to NHTSA, ARC made inflators for Delphi Corp. air bags that were sold to Kia and used in Optimas, and it made inflators for Key Safety Systems air bags sold to Chrysler and used in minivans.
    
Delphi said in a statement that it will respond to any NHTSA inquiries in the investigation. ARC inflators were used in some of its air bag assemblies before the company sold its air bag business in 2010, the statement said. Key said it would support the investigation.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Delaware State Police Seek Help in Identifying Bank Robbery Suspect

    Delaware State Police Seek Help in Identifying Bank Robbery Suspect

    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:25 PM EDT2018-09-22 19:25:26 GMT
    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:25 PM EDT2018-09-22 19:25:26 GMT
    Suspect WantedSuspect Wanted
    Suspect WantedSuspect Wanted
    NEWARK, Del.- The Delaware State Police are asking the public for assistance in identifying a bank robbery suspect.More
    NEWARK, Del.- The Delaware State Police are asking the public for assistance in identifying a bank robbery suspect.

    More
  • Rehoboth Considers Potential Parking Solutions

    Rehoboth Considers Potential Parking Solutions

    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:11 AM EDT2018-09-22 07:11:01 GMT
    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:16 AM EDT2018-09-22 07:16:27 GMT
    Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)
    Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)
    Some in Rehoboth Beach say they're fed up with searching for parking in prime locations--like along Rehoboth Avenue. Today the city's parking advisory committee presented those solutions to the Board of Commissioners.More
    Some in Rehoboth Beach say they're fed up with searching for parking in prime locations--like along Rehoboth Avenue. Today the city's parking advisory committee presented those solutions to the Board of Commissioners. More
  • Investigation Finds Maryland Culpable in Death of Player

    Investigation Finds Maryland Culpable in Death of Player

    Saturday, September 22 2018 12:08 AM EDT2018-09-22 04:08:32 GMT
    Saturday, September 22 2018 12:08 AM EDT2018-09-22 04:08:32 GMT
    An independent investigation into the death of University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair has determined that trainers on the scene did not follow proper procedures after he collapsed on the field.More
    An independent investigation into the death of University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair has determined that trainers on the scene did not follow proper procedures after he collapsed on the field.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Rehoboth Considers Potential Parking Solutions

    Rehoboth Considers Potential Parking Solutions

    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:11 AM EDT2018-09-22 07:11:01 GMT
    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:16 AM EDT2018-09-22 07:16:27 GMT
    Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)
    Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)Downtown Rehoboth Beach (Photo: WBOC)
    Some in Rehoboth Beach say they're fed up with searching for parking in prime locations--like along Rehoboth Avenue. Today the city's parking advisory committee presented those solutions to the Board of Commissioners.More
    Some in Rehoboth Beach say they're fed up with searching for parking in prime locations--like along Rehoboth Avenue. Today the city's parking advisory committee presented those solutions to the Board of Commissioners. More
  • Kent County Man Shot While in His Yard

    Kent County Man Shot While in His Yard

    Friday, September 21 2018 6:20 PM EDT2018-09-21 22:20:00 GMT
    Friday, September 21 2018 6:23 PM EDT2018-09-21 22:23:48 GMT
    Credit: WBOCCredit: WBOC
    Credit: WBOCCredit: WBOC
    Delaware State Police are investigating a incident that occurred on September 20, where a man from Magnolia, Delaware was shot while trying to bring his dog inside.More
    Delaware State Police are investigating a incident that occurred on September 20, where a man from Magnolia, Delaware was shot while trying to bring his dog inside. More
  • Delaware State Police Seek Help in Identifying Bank Robbery Suspect

    Delaware State Police Seek Help in Identifying Bank Robbery Suspect

    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:25 PM EDT2018-09-22 19:25:26 GMT
    Saturday, September 22 2018 3:25 PM EDT2018-09-22 19:25:26 GMT
    Suspect WantedSuspect Wanted
    Suspect WantedSuspect Wanted
    NEWARK, Del.- The Delaware State Police are asking the public for assistance in identifying a bank robbery suspect.More
    NEWARK, Del.- The Delaware State Police are asking the public for assistance in identifying a bank robbery suspect.

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Whale Skull Recovered from Pickering Beach in Kent County

    Whale Skull Recovered from Pickering Beach in Kent County

    The skull of a deceased juvenile whale that washed up along the Kent County coast last year was recovered on Friday at Pickering Beach by staffers with the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

    The whale initially turned up at Port Mahon but was moved to Pickering Beach by the State of Delaware to naturally decompose into the bones that remain on the beach.

    More

    The skull of a deceased juvenile whale that washed up along the Kent County coast last year was recovered on Friday at Pickering Beach by staffers with the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

    The whale initially turned up at Port Mahon but was moved to Pickering Beach by the State of Delaware to naturally decompose into the bones that remain on the beach.

    More
  • Rehoboth Considers Potential Parking Solutions

    Rehoboth Considers Potential Parking Solutions

    Some in Rehoboth Beach say they're fed up with searching for parking in prime locations--like along Rehoboth Avenue.

    Now--the city is exploring options to provide solutions to the problem. Today the city's parking advisory committee presented those solutions to the Board of Commissioners.  

    Among some of the explored topics were extending the meter season in the city, as well as hiking up the price of metered parking in popular areas.

    More

    Some in Rehoboth Beach say they're fed up with searching for parking in prime locations--like along Rehoboth Avenue.

    Now--the city is exploring options to provide solutions to the problem. Today the city's parking advisory committee presented those solutions to the Board of Commissioners.  

    Among some of the explored topics were extending the meter season in the city, as well as hiking up the price of metered parking in popular areas.

    More
  • Sussex County Recovering Addict Reflects

    Sussex County Recovering Addict Reflects

    The Sussex County Health Coalition recently jumped on the purple band wagon to raise awareness for substance abuse. 

    In light of that campaign on local man, Bruce Ricketts, is speaking out about his journey through addiction in hopes of it becoming another person's inspiration. 

    Bruce lives with 11 other people in an Oxford house that all share similar struggles. The goal in the house is to give recovering addicts a safe place to rebuild their lives.

    More

    The Sussex County Health Coalition recently jumped on the purple band wagon to raise awareness for substance abuse. 

    In light of that campaign on local man, Bruce Ricketts, is speaking out about his journey through addiction in hopes of it becoming another person's inspiration. 

    Bruce lives with 11 other people in an Oxford house that all share similar struggles. The goal in the house is to give recovering addicts a safe place to rebuild their lives.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices