Volvo recalls 260,000 cars for airbag defect linked to one death

The airbags in these cars don't come from Takata, but the issue sounds similar to the problems that plague the notorious inflators.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
Volvo S80

Drivers, definitely get your airbags replaced.


A total of 259,383 Volvo cars are part of a new recall due to potentially faulty airbags. In a notice the Swedish luxury marque filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Sept. 30, the brand said it needs to see a group of 2001-2006 S80 sedans and 2001-2009 S60 sedans for this potential problem.

Specifically, the driver-side airbags may rupture when deployed, due to faulty inflator propellant tablets. If these inflators are exposed to "elevated moisture levels and frequent high inflator temperatures," they may begin to create dust, which increases the burn rate and pressure in the inflator. This can lead to ruptures when the airbag deploys, which can spew shrapnel at the driver. The issue is linked to one incident that resulted in the death of a driver, Volvo said.

These airbags do not come from Takata, even though the issue sounds similar to those that resulted in the recall of tens of millions of cars. Volvo identified the supplier as Germany's ZF Friedrichshafen. 

A fix is ready to go. Volvo will replace the driver-side airbags with new units, complete with fresh inflators. Owners should look for notices landing in their mailboxes starting Nov. 29.

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