NHTSA Questioning Autoliv About Side Airbag Parts

By Trevor Dorchies | February 22, 2012
Automotive safety system manufacturer Autoliv has come under scrutiny from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for faulty side airbag parts. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Subaru all employee airbags parts sourced from Autoliv, and all four automakers recently issued recalls pertaining to problems with the side airbag. In total, 2,750 vehicles were called back to deal with faulty airbag parts according to the NHTSA. In 2011, Toyota recalled around 430 new RAV4 SUVs claiming the curtain shield airbag may not deploy as planned courtesy of a malfunctioning airbag inflator. Last week, Honda expanded a recall it had issued to cover 974 vehicles, including select 2012 Civics and Acura's full-size MDX SUV. Honda had already issued a recall for 347 Accord sedans and Crosstour SUVs that were ready to enter service for the 2012 model year. Nissan also recalled 976 Altima and Versa sedans last year while Subaru called back 381 Legacy sedans and Outback wagons. The main concern of the NHTSA is the airbag propellant mixture that was supplied by Autoliv to the aforementioned automakers. While Autoliv doesn't contest the findings from Honda and Toyota the automotive safety systems manufacturer claims innocence when it comes to Nissan and Subaru.  Autoliv doesn't believe the parts it provided to Nissan and Subaru were defective. The safety systems maker stands by its claim after it had conducted more than 2200 tests to find the root of the issue for the faulty airbag parts. Nevertheless the NHTSA continues to question Autoliv and has asked for a list of customers that have bought parts with the mottled propellant. The Detroit Big Three may also see some trouble with this too as Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors have all purchased parts from Autoliv. Suzuki, Daimler, and Kia also purchased parts from Autoliv with the majority being shipped in late 2011. All parts bought from Autoliv from all of the auto makers listed above were slated to go into 2012 model vehicles. Source: Chicago Tribune