The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have upgraded an investigation into exploding airbag inflators made by ARC Automotive Incorporated after a Canadian woman was killed during a low speed accident. According to a spokesman for Transport Canada, the woman may have survived the accident had she not suffered shrapnel injuries. The NHTSA began looking at ARC airbags last year after reports that an Ohio woman was seriously injured by a rupturing airbag when her 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan crashed. Investigators say another injury involving a 2004 Kia Optima also had an ARC inflator installed from the same factory.
The NHTSA are focusing on airbags made between 2000 and September 2004, but do not believe that humidity is the cause of the problem. The probe into the ARC inflators is similar to the Takata issue which resulted in 69 million Takata airbags recalled in the U.S.