U.S. Regulators Probe Autoliv Airbag Components

February 22, 2012

U.S. safety regulators are investigating side airbag components made by Autoliv Inc that may fail to inflate during a crash.

This year, Toyota Motor Co, Honda Motor Co Ltd , Nissan Motor Co and Subaru of America Inc issued safety recalls due to problems with the side airbags.

All four automakers said Autoliv supplied the airbag propellent mixture. A total of 2,750 vehicles were affected, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In a response letter to NHTSA dated Feb. 17, Autoliv said it “did not disagree” with the conclusions drawn by Toyota and Honda. But Autoliv disputed that parts provided to Nissan and Subaru contained a safety defect.

Autoliv declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. Autoliv, which develops and makes safety systems, said it reached its conclusions after conducting more than 2,200 tests to determine the cause of the problem.

NHTSA asked Autoliv for a list of customers that have purchased these parts with the spoiled propellent. The supplier said it provided parts to Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co.

It also provided parts to Suzuki Motor Corp, Daimler AG and Kia Motors Corp, among others. The parts were largely shipped in late 2011.

Last month, Toyota recalled about 430 RAV4 compact sport-utility vehicles built for the 2011 model year, saying the curtain shield airbag may not deploy in a crash due to a defective airbag inflator.

Honda expanded its side airbag recall last week to include 974 vehicles, including the 2012 Civic compact car and Acura MDX SUVs. Honda had earlier recalled 347 Accord sedans and Crosstour SUVs built for the 2012 model year.

Nissan recalled 976 Altima and Versa sedans. Subaru recalled 381 Legacy sedans and Outback wagons. All the vehicles were made for the 2012 model year.

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