At the end of last month, Volvo filed a notice with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall a total of 259,383 cars. The automaker wants to recall and see a group of 2001-2006 S80 sedans and 2001-2009 S60 sedans for a potential problem with faulty airbags.
The Swedish automaker noted that the driver-side airbags may rupture when deployed due to faulty inflator propellant tablets. The rupture may happen if the inflators are exposed to “elevated moisture levels and frequent high inflator temperatures,” they may begin to create dust, which increases the burn rate and pressure in the inflator. This occurrence can lead to ruptures when the airbag deploys, which can in turn spew shrapnel at the driver.
On a sad note, Volvo said that the issue is linked to one incident that resulted in the death of a driver.
This recall is almost similar to the airbags made by Takata which led to tens of millions of cars getting recalled.
Just last month, September, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) formally announced a new investigation into 30 million Takata airbags with potential inflator defects. 20 automakers were named in the investigation, their cars were equipped with these inflators. They include General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Porsche, Ferrari, Mazda and more. The case will look into models created between 2001 to 2019.
The NHTSA wants to investigate a potential degradation in Takata airbags equipped with phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN) propellant. Similar to the issue with Volvo’s airbags recall, if the propellant is exposed to moisture for a prolonged period it may degrade and ignite too quickly when the airbag is deployed. This may cause the inflator to rupture and spew shrapnel at passengers.
Volvo, however, noted that their recalled cars didn’t have airbags from Takata, they instead come from Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen.
In addition Volvo announced they already have a solution, they will replace the driver-side airbags with new units, complete with fresh inflators. Owners of the mentioned S80 and S60 sedans should look for notices landing in their mailboxes starting Nov. 29.