Volvo recalls 460,000 cars after a Volvo driver was allegedly killed by an exploding airbag.

Posted in Recalls

Fatality Causes Volvo S60 and S80 Airbag Recall
Volvo recalls 460,000 cars after a Volvo driver was allegedly killed by an exploding airbag.

— A Volvo airbag recall has been announced for more than 460,000 S60 and S80 cars after a driver was allegedly killed by an airbag that exploded.

Nearly 260,000 of those cars are recalled in the U.S., and the recall is unrelated to Takata, the company that caused the recalls of millions of vehicles.

The 2001-2006 Volvo S80 and 2001-2009 Volvo S60 cars are equipped with driver's airbag assemblies supplied by AutoLiv, but the defective airbag inflators that may explode are manufactured by ZF Friedrichshafen.

Volvo's legal department received an attorney letter in June 2019 which said a Volvo driver had been killed by an airbag that exploded.

According to Volvo, the driver-side airbags contain FG2 twin inflators with 5AT 148 N propellant which is used to deploy the airbags. However, Volvo confirmed the propellant can decay "over time in certain conditions potentially resulting in critical inflator combustion pressures."

The propellant tablets can decay and start turning to dust particles which increases the burn surface area and burn rate. Volvo says the higher burn rate can result in higher combustion chamber pressures and increased odds of the inflators exploding.

The inflators are metal and a rupture can send shards of metal into occupants like a grenade.

Documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration don't provide details if the same inflators are used in vehicles built by other automakers.

The inflators most at risk are those in Volvo cars exposed to hot and humid environments.

Volvo dealers will replace the S60 and S80 airbags once recall notices are mailed November 29, 2021.

Volvo owners with concerns may call 800-458-1552 and ask about recall number R10125.


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