— Incorrectly folded airbags have caused the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to open an investigation into previous recalls of vehicles equipped with the airbags.
Airbag manufacturer Joyson said the front passenger airbags may not have been folded correctly during production and could possibly fail to unfold properly in a crash. The problem could occur during times of high temperatures when the internal pressure could increase in the airbags.
A portion of the airbag material could be torn when the passenger airbag deploys, or the airbag plate which mounts the airbag to the assembly case could be damaged.
Certain automakers recalled vehicles since 2019 to replace the passenger airbag assemblies, but NHTSA has concerns about the replacement airbags and how they were folded.
In August 2019, Toyota recalled about 274,000 model year 2003-2008 Corolla and 2005-2008 Matrix vehicles to replace the passenger airbags because they may not have been folded properly. Included in the recall were 2005-2008 Pontiac Vibes manufactured by Toyota in cooperation with General Motors.
And in March 2021, about 26,000 model year 2006-2008 Infiniti FX35 and FX45 vehicles were recalled to replace front passenger airbags that could tear when they deployed. The cause was once again problems with how the airbags were folded.
A total of 256,000 vehicles are included in the investigation, but the possible passenger airbag problems are not related to Takata airbags at risk of exploding.
NHTSA will contact Joyson Safety Systems and the affected automakers to make them aware of the investigation and to ensure the recalls were adequate.
CarComplaints.com will update our website with results of the federal investigation.