WASHINGTON — The nation's top auto safety regulator on Tuesday said it has determined 52 million airbag inflators made by ARC Automotive and Delphi are defective and should be recalled.
The agency's initial decision affects about 41 million driver and passenger inflators made by ARC from 2000 through January 2018 and about 11 million driver inflators made by Autoliv-acquired Delphi under a licensing agreement with ARC.
To be sure, the Delphi entity that made some of the inflators no longer exists, and Autoliv has provided NHTSA with information indicating that it might not have legal liability for the Delphi-made inflators.
The agency will hold a public hearing Oct. 5 at its headquarters here regarding the decision and allowing ARC and other parties to present arguments showing there is no defect. If NHTSA makes a final decision that the inflators contain a safety defect, ARC will be required to file notice of the defect with the agency, and automakers will be ordered to carry out recalls.
The inflators are installed in vehicles manufactured by 12 automakers, including Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Chrysler-parent Stellantis, Hyundai, Tesla and Toyota.