U.S. safety regulators said they were investigating airbag inflators made by ARC Automotive Inc for rupture, the second company to be probed for defective airbags after Japan’s Takata Corp.
The ARC probe will cover airbags in about 420,000 Fiat Chrysler Town and Country minivans from model year 2002, and 70,000 Kia Optima midsize sedans from model year 2004, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in documents posted on Tuesday. (http://1.usa.gov/L6b9wg)
ARC Automotive had no immediate comment.
“We are fully cooperating with the NHTSA investigation and we no longer use that inflator,” Fiat Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne told Reuters.
The investigation comes nearly two months after Takata doubled a recall of potentially deadly airbags to nearly 34 million vehicles, making it the largest automotive recall in American history.
The safety agency said it received two complaints involving ARC inflators, the first in December about a 2009 incident and the second in June.
The agency said there were two known injuries related to the incidents, but no known fatalities.
“At the present time it is unknown if there is a common root cause in these incidents,” the NHTSA said.
“(The agency) is opening this investigation in order to collect all known facts from the involved suppliers and vehicle manufacturers.”