Chrysler Airbag Lawsuit Filed Over ARC Inflators

Hybrid airbag inflators made by ARC allegedly make several Fiat Chrysler vehicles defective.

Chrysler Airbag Lawsuit Filed Over ARC Inflators

Posted in News

— A Chrysler airbag lawsuit alleges ARC Automotive hybrid airbag inflators explode and injure and kill vehicle occupants.

The ARC inflators in the Fiat Chrysler (FCA) vehicles allegedly have been defective for years and leave vehicle owners with vehicles worth less than originally valued.

According to the Chrysler airbag class action lawsuit, these vehicles are equipped with dangerous ARC airbag inflators.

  • 2015-2017 Chrysler 200
  • 2016-2017 Chrysler 300 LX
  • 2001-2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser
  • 2001-2007 Chrysler Town & Country
  • 2001-2007 Dodge Caravan
  • 2015-2017 Dodge Challenger
  • 2016-2017 Dodge Charger/Magnum LX
  • 2001-2007 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2016-2017 Jeep Cherokee

The plaintiff who filed the airbag lawsuit alleges the ARC inflator fails to account for the "excess, asymmetrical weld flash which is a byproduct of the friction welding process that is required to manufacture these inflators according to ARC’s design."

The lawsuit alleges a portion of the weld flash can dislodge in a vehicle crash.

"If the dislodged weld flash is not large enough to block the gas exit orifice, this weld flash will exit the inflator through the gas exit orifice. If the dislodged weld flash is sufficiently large, it will lodge in the gas exit orifice, resulting in an increase of pressure in the inflator housing, and causing a rupture." — FCA airbag lawsuit

Chrysler Airbag Lawsuit (Incidents)

The airbag class action contends an exploding ARC inflator caused injuries to the driver of a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country as she turned into her driveway.

The January 2009 incident involved an ARC DCADH airbag that broke the driver's jaw in three places and collapsed a lung. The driver also said the airbag inflator sent shrapnel through her chest and out of her back, causing her to spend three months in a medically-induced coma.

In June 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration became aware of an ARC driver’s side inflator rupture that occurred on April 8, 2014, in New Mexico in a 2004 Kia Optima. The frontal crash caused serious injuries to the driver and NHTSA opened a formal defect investigation in 2015.

Then in 2016 NHTSA upgraded its investigation after learning about a Canadian fatality caused by an ARC inflator that exploded in a 2009 Hyundai Elantra.

According to the Chrysler airbag lawsuit, Florida plaintiff Preshawn Long purchased a 2004 Dodge Caravan, but the plaintiff doesn't allege the ARC airbag ruptured.

However, the plaintiff argues FCA should "replace all of the defective airbag modules with airbag modules that do not contain inflators with the friction weld flash defect, or immediately institute a re-purchase program to take all of the unsafe class vehicles off the road."

The Chrysler airbag lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (Southern Division): Preshawn Long v. ARC Automotive, Inc. and FCA US, LLC.

The plaintiff is represented by Heninger Garrison Davis LLC, and Motley Rice LLC.