More Airbags Under Scrutiny

More Airbags Under Scrutiny

Takata Airbags Might Not Be the Only Faulty Airbags

In the most extensive safety recall in U.S. history, vehicles made by 19 different automakers, including 34 brands, have been recalled to replace defective front driver and passenger airbags.  More than 67 million airbags have been recalled, and at the end of 2022, 11 million of those had yet to be replaced.  The airbags were made by major parts supplier Takata and were installed in vehicles primarily from model years 2002 through 2015, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).  The airbags were cited for deploying explosively, resulting in injury and, in some cases, death to drivers and passengers.  To date, 26 deaths and more than 400 injuries have been reported in the U.S. due to these defective airbags.

The problem stems from the airbag’s inflator, a metal cartridge loaded with propellant, which in certain situations has ignited with dramatic force.  When the airbag ruptures during a vehicle collision, metal shards from the inflator can spray throughout the vehicle cabin, wounding or fatally injuring the driver and passengers.  What was meant to be a lifesaving device – an airbag – can become deadly.  NHTSA determined that the cause of the problem was the airbag’s use of ammonium-nitrate-based propellant without a chemical drying agent.  High temperatures, age, and moisture can cause the airbags to improperly inflate.

Models considered to be at “extreme risk” include certain 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles, and the 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series pickup trucks.  Also included in this group are the BMW 1999 323i and 328i models.  NHTSA recommended a stop-driving order for these models and urged vehicle owners to seek immediate repairs.  In January 2024, Toyota issued a “do not drive” warning for about 50,000 of its vehicles, including 2003-2004 Corolla, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix, and 2004-2005 RAV4.  Warnings prior to 2024 from other vehicle manufacturers were also issued.

Now, more airbags are under scrutiny by regulators.  Takata airbags might not be the only faulty airbags.

Delphi Automotive and ARC Automotive:  The Front Driver and Passenger Airbag Inflators Could Rupture

A Tennessee supplier, ARC Automotive, has come under heightened scrutiny after a rupture in one of its airbags was linked to the death of a driver in Canada.  The NHTSA launched a formal investigation into bags manufactured by ARC Automotive, issuing an initial decision in September 2023 to initiate a recall.  The initial decision read, in part:

These airbag inflators may rupture when the vehicle’s airbag is commanded to deploy, causing metal debris to be forcefully ejected into the passenger compartment of the vehicle.  A rupturing airbag inflator poses an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death to vehicle occupants. At least seven people have been injured and one person has been killed by these rupturing airbag inflators within the United States.

The initial decision goes on to say that NHTSA believes the ruptures may result from the weld slag produced by the friction welding manufacturing process.  Blockage by slag of the inflator exit orifice can lead to the forced propulsion of shrapnel into the cabin, seriously wounding or killing vehicle passengers.  NHTSA says it expects future Delphi Automotive and ARC Automotive airbag ruptures if they are not recalled and replaced.  The airbags subject to NHTSA’s 2023 initial decision include 41 million manufactured by ARC and 11 million manufactured by Delphi.

NHTSA estimates that more than 50,000 lives have been saved over the last 30 years because of safe airbags.  Although the incidence of airbag ruptures is rare, they are extremely dangerous, and this has caused the U.S. regulatory agency to act decisively in issuing decisions about recalls.  The likelihood of injury or death is very high when metal shrapnel is propelled forcefully into a vehicle cabin by a malfunctioning airbag.

How Neale & Fhima Can Help

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed by a defective airbag that deployed with force during a vehicle collision, you may be entitled to financial compensation.  The personal injury lawyers at Neale & Fhima fight aggressively on behalf of every client who has been harmed due to someone else’s negligence.  Whether your vehicle’s airbag was manufactured by Takata, Delphi, or ARC, our car accident lawyers can investigate the cause of the accident and explain your legal options.

Damages you could be entitled to include:


  • Medical and hospital bills
  • The cost of future medical and rehabilitative care
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings if disabled
  • Property damage.


  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • PTSD and emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium.

In some cases, clients are also entitled to punitive damages, which is additional compensation ordered by courts to punish a responsible party for its negligence and prevent others from pursuing similar bad actions.

Contact Neale & Fhima for a Free Consultation About Your Defective Airbag Injury

At Neale & Fhima, we’re willing to talk to injured people before they make a decision about hiring us.  During a free consultation, we can assess your claim, explain your legal options, and discuss next steps.  You are under no obligation to hire us and can make that decision after the initial phone call.  We do this because we care deeply about injured people who have been wronged through no fault of their own.  Our skilled and experienced legal team offers compassion and understanding to our clients, and we fight aggressively against manufacturers and insurance companies to get the maximum payout possible for every client.

We can file a personal injury claim if you’ve been harmed by a defective airbag, and we can file a wrongful death claim in the catastrophic event that your loved one was killed in a collision in which a defective airbag ruptured.  To find out more about how we can help, call us for a free initial consultation at 888-407-2955.  You are not alone.  Our skilled legal team will walk beside you every step of the way throughout the legal process.

Attorney Aaron Fhima

Aaron Fhima, California attorneyAaron Fhima is a trial attorney who has secured numerous settlements and verdicts against large corporations and some of the largest auto manufacturers in the world. Representing consumers and injury victims throughout the state of California, Aaron’s practice areas include personal injury, and lemon law litigation. Aaron has a long record of success taking on large defense firms; and he doesn’t hesitate to take cases to trial when necessary to enforce his clients’ rights. [ Attorney Bio ]