ARC Airbag Inflators Class Action Lawsuit

What: Vehicles that are equipped with ARC airbag inflators. 

Who: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demanded an immediate recall of the 67 million airbag inflators manufactured by ARC Automotive, Inc. of Knoxville, TN.

Where: Currently, the ARC Inflator recall is only taking place in the United States. However, the NHTSA believes a broader recall is necessary.

Why: Drivers are potentially at risk of being injured or killed by the faulty inflator. Metal shards and shrapnel may be propelled at high speeds, causing severe cuts, burns, eye injuries, torn arteries, broken bones, and death. Regardless of fault in an accident, or the number of parties involved, those injured by an exploding airbag may still have a claim.

How Can I Identify the Recalled Product?: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has advised all vehicle owners to check their 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the NHTSA website to confirm if their vehicle has been affected by the recall. Drivers may also contact their vehicle's manufacturer for more information. 


What is Causing the Inflators to Rupture? 

After an 8-year-long investigation, the NHTSA concluded that the ARC inflators, when deployed in a car accident, has the potential to explode and propel metal fragments at high speeds into a vehicle's cabin. This is caused due to the unstable ammonium nitrate contained in the canister. Similar to the recent recalls due to the Takata airbags, the issue behind the compound used to create a small explosion to inflate the airbag, ammonium nitrate, is that the compound can deteriorate when exposed repeatedly to high temperatures and humidity. Then when burned too fast, it can create larger explosions. Victims of the ARC inflators have suffered severe cuts, burns, eye injuries, torn arteries, broken bones, and death.


Which Auto Companies Are Involved?

With cases dating back to 2009, an estimated 51 million inflators were potentially affected. The NHTSA's records show that those vehicles that are equipped with the potentially affected inflators were installed in the cars made between the model years 2002 and 2017. Companies that have either been involved in a lawsuit or have willingly sent out recalls for their potentially affected vehicles currently include General Motors Company, Ford Motor Company, BMW AG, and Volkswagen AG. 


Who Has Filed a Lawsuit Against ARC?

In May 2022, Marlene Beaudoin passed away after an airbag module exploded in her SUV. Her family filed a lawsuit alleging negligence after they claimed that pieces of the airbag inflator, steering wheel, and steering column from Marlene’s Chevy Traverse pierced her chest, neck, and head. In June 2022, a class action lawsuit was filed in the US District Court: Northern District of California against ARC Automotive Inc., General Motors, Ford, Audi, Joyson Safety Systems, and Toyoda Gosei North America that claims ARC Automotive and other regulatory bodies who studied the accident reports should have informed the defendants of the issues with the inflators. 

Then again, in August 2022, a prosed class action lawsuit was filed in the US District Court: District of South Carolina, claiming that the vehicle owners did not receive a warning that their vehicles contained defective ARC airbags with the ARC inflators. Since the start of the investigation, multiple other lawsuits have been filed, naming other vehicle companies like Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Kia.


Who Is Eligible For an ARC Lawsuit?

Those individuals who have suffered an injury or have a loved one who has died due to a defective ARC inflator may be eligible to file a lawsuit. When drivers get behind the wheel of a car, they expect that the safety components of the car are working in a way that is meant to protect them from danger rather than potentially placing them in harm's way. As reported by the NHTSA, the ARC airbag inflator has the potential to explode and propel metal fragments into the vehicle cabin that can easily injure or kill vehicle occupants. ARC Automotive and any other auto company's inactions to remove the inflators from the market must be held liable.


Why You Should Contact Morgan & Morgan

Contacting an attorney will always help benefit your case. At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys have extensive experience with automobile lawsuits, including expertise in cases that involve the faulty Takata airbags, self-driving vehicles, and much more. Our attorneys have a track record of winning jury awards and settlements against automakers, and our work in this area makes us uniquely qualified to handle large and complex class action cases.


What Are the Next Steps To File a Lawsuit?

The ARC lawsuits are happening now. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and suspect you have suffered injuries due to the ARC airbag inflators, contact us immediately for a free consultation.

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