Volvo Recalls 54,000 Cars After a Driver Dies Due To Airbag Shrapnel

The recalled cars are the automaker's S60 and S80 models made between 2001 and 2003.
Fabienne Lang

A driver was killed by their airbag shrapnel in their Volvo, which has sparked a U.S. recall of 54,000 of its older Volvos, per the Associated Press (AP).

The inflator parts maker for Volvo is ZF/TRW, and given the issue is similar to what happened to Honda's Takata-made airbags last year, many are now fearing their airbags.

Other Volvos are being double-checked by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to see if any further action needs to be taken. 


When questioned about whether or not other automakers were sold ZF/TRW faulty airbags, the company's spokesperson told the AP that it was still unknown.

So far, there has only been one reported death linked to the Volvo and ZF/TRW airbags. Regardless, the recalls are going forward for S60 and S80 models made between 2001 and 2003, with new airbags being put in place at no extra cost to the customer. 

Volvo recalls cover cars that were sold or registered in the following states and territories: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Fears of a similar problem that arose from Takata-made airbags have arisen. The faulty Takata airbags caused 26 people to die worldwide. 

The issue lay in the ammonium nitrate that was used in the airbags to cause a small explosion in order to inflate the airbags. The chemical used deteriorates after time and the explosion can blow up a small metal canister, which creates shrapnel that hurtles towards passengers.

In total, this led to the largest airbag recall in auto history, with as many as 100 million inflators recalled worldwide. 

ZF/TRW said that it did not use ammonium nitrate in its airbags.

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