Volvo recalls more older models after death linked to airbag rupture

In both recalls, the inflator manufacturer is German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen. Autoliv is the airbag assembly manufacturer.

Driver-side airbag inflators in vehicles affected by both recalls may explode during deployment, increasing the risk of sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other vehicle occupants and resulting in injury or death, according to a safety recall report submitted to NHTSA.

The airbags contain a propellant that can degrade over time after long-term exposure to high temperatures and humidity.

Airbag inflators “exposed to critical environments — hot and humid — frequently during its lifetime are at highest risk,” according to the NHTSA document.

Volvo said its investigations show that there is a low likelihood of the issue happening.

The defect appears similar to that found in airbags made for many years by the former Takata Corp., which resulted in the largest recall in automotive history. Volvo’s recall is not part of the ongoing NHTSA investigation.

Volvo will replace the driver-side airbags in the affected vehicles with a more modern propellant and inflator.

Dealers were notified starting Oct. 14. Vehicle owners will be notified starting Dec. 14.

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