Safety regulators investigate airbag issues

February 24, 2012 12:00 AM

Federal safety regulators are looking into an issue with side curtain airbags that appears to be affecting multiple automakers, reports The Detroit News.

According to the news source, 2,700 vehicles from Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Subaru have already been recalled due to side curtain airbags that may fail to inflate. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that these airbags may have an ineffective mix of the gas used to inflate airbags.

The maker of the airbags, Autoliv, has also provided products for General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Mercedes, Hyundai and Suzuki, though none of their products have been recalled yet.

As of now, the recall only affects a small number of vehicles from the 2011 and 2012 model years. Models include the Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Versa and Subaru Legacy, among others. However, only select units are said to have the issue.

In a letter to the NHTSA, Autoliv disputed the decisions of the automakers to recall, although it acknowledged that its airbags have failed to inflate in extremely low temperatures. The domestic automakers told the NHTSA that they've tested their Autoliv airbags and had no issues, but they use different types of airbag inflaters than the Japanese automakers.

Side curtain airbags can save a life, but it's more effective to avoid accidents in the first place. Regular auto maintenance and taking care of car repairs quickly can reduce the chance of an accident due to mechanical failure.

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