ARC Automotive, General Motors, Hyundai and Kia have been sued over allegations defective and deadly airbag inflators are installed in about 30 million vehicles in the U.S.

The class action lawsuit alleges airbag manufacturer ARC and the automakers have known since at least 2015 the airbag inflators could rupture and kill occupants.

The allegedly defective hybrid airbag inflators use both a propellant explosive and also stored compressed gasses to rapidly inflate the airbags.

Specifically, the ARC designations of their driver’s hybrid inflators are CADH/DH-7 (single stage) and DCADH (dual stage). The passenger designations are PH7-90, PH7-120 (single stage) and PH7-120, DPH7 (dual stage).

The plaintiffs who filed the class action lawsuit say there have been at least seven field ruptures of the airbags which resulted in two fatalities and severe non-fatal injuries.

In July 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into ARC inflators and upgraded the investigation in August 2016 following a fatality.

The ARC inflator investigation still continues, and NHTSA hasn't always been happy with ARC's response to the investigation.

According to the lawsuit, the design of the 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."

"During deployment of the inflator during an accident, a portion of this excess, asymmetrical weld flash can become dislodged. 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," the lawsuit said. "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."

With about 30 million vehicles allegedly equipped with the defective airbag inflators, the class action lawsuit said customers purchased and leased vehicles of a lesser standard, grade and quality than represented by the automakers.

The ARC airbag inflator class action lawsuit was filed by these seven plaintiffs, although none allege their inflators ruptured.

  • Aaron Jophlin, South Carolina, 2015 GMC Acadia
  • Ronald Wolf, South Carolina, 2013 Chevrolet Silverado
  • Latricia Ford, South Carolina, 2008 Kia Sportage
  • Terre Bohman, South Carolina, 2014 Hyundai Genesis
  • Cortney Driggers, South Carolina, 2012 Chevrolet Equinox
  • Whitney Harrelson, South Carolina, 2017 GMC Acadia
  • Patricia Mobley, South Carolina, 2011 Chevrolet Malibu

The ARC, GM, Hyundai and Kia airbag inflator class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (Charleston Division): Jophlin, et al., v. ARC Automotive, et al.

The plaintiffs are represented by Motley Rice LLC.

Vehicles Named in the ARC Airbag Inflator Class Action Lawsuit

General Motors

  • 2016-2017 Buick Envision
  • 2002-2005 Buick LaSabre
  • 2005-2008 Buick Terraza
  • 2008-2017 Buick Enclave
  • 2013-2017 Buick Encore
  • 2005-2009 Buick LaCrosse
  • 2006-2011 Buick Lucerne
  • 2004-2007 Buick Rainier
  • 2002-2007 Buick Rendezvous
  • 2013-2017 Cadillac ATS
  • 2003-2017 Cadillac CTS
  • 2002-2005 Cadillac DeVille
  • 2006-2011 Cadillac DTS
  • 2013-2016 Cadillac ELR
  • 2002-2017 Cadillac Escalade 1500
  • 2002-2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2002-2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT
  • 2004-2016 Cadillac SRX
  • 2005-2007 Cadillac STS
  • 2004-2009 Cadillac XLR
  • 2017 Cadillac XT5
  • 2002-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500
  • 2002-2006 Chevrolet Avalanche 2500
  • 2010-2017 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 2011-2017 Chevrolet Captiva
  • 2000-2005 Chevrolet Cavalier
  • 2015-2017 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2005-2013 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 2016-2017 Chevrolet Cruze
  • 2014-2017 Chevrolet Encore
  • 2005-2017 Chevrolet Equinox
  • 2003-2017 Chevrolet Express 1500
  • 2003-2017 Chevrolet Express 2500
  • 2003-2017 Chevrolet Express 3500
  • 2006-2010 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2006-2017 Chevrolet Impala
  • 2004-2012 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx
  • 2006-2017 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • 2000-2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2000-2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
  • 2007-2013 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
  • 2003-2005 Chevrolet SSR
  • 2000-2006 Chevrolet Suburban 1500
  • 2000-2006 Chevrolet Suburban 1500
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban 2500
  • 2000-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe 1500
  • 2003-2009 Chevrolet Trailblazer
  • 2003-2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT
  • 2009-2017 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2014-2017 Chevrolet Trax
  • 2005-2008 Chevrolet Uplander
  • 2000-2005 Chevrolet Venture
  • 2011-2015 Chevrolet Volt
  • 2015-2017 GMC Canyon
  • 2003-2017 GMC Savana 1500
  • 2003-2017 GMC Savana 2500
  • 2003-2017 GMC Savana 3500
  • 2000-2014 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2000-2007 GMC Sierra 2500
  • 2007-2014 GMC Sierra 2500
  • 2000-2007 GMC Sierra 3500
  • 2000-2014 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2000-2014 GMC Sierra 2500
  • 2000-2014 GMC Sierra 3500
  • 2010-2017 GMC Terrain
  • 2000-2014 GMC Yukon 1500
  • 2000-2014 GMC Yukon XL 1500
  • 2000-2014 GMC Yukon XL 2500
  • 2017 GMC Acadia
  • 2007-2016 GMC Acadia
  • 2003-2009 GMC Envoy
  • 2003-2006 GMC Envoy XL
  • 2004-2005 GMC Envoy XUV
  • 2003-2009 Hummer H2
  • 2006-2010 Hummer H3
  • 2003-2008 Isuzu Ascender
  • 2000-2004 Oldsmobile Silhouette
  • 2002-2004 Oldsmobile Bravada
  • 2005-2008 Pontiac Silhouette
  • 2002-2007 Pontiac Aztek
  • 2002-2005 Pontiac Bonneville
  • 2000-2009 Pontiac Montana
  • 2000-2005 Pontiac Sunfire
  • 2005-2010 Pontiac G6
  • 2005-2006 Pontiac Grand Am
  • 2006-2009 Pontiac Torrent
  • 2003-2012 Saab 9-3
  • 2010-2012 Saab 9-5
  • 2007-2010 Saturn Aura
  • 2007-2010 Saturn Outlook
  • 2005-2008 Saturn Relay
  • 2002-2007 Saturn Vue

Hyundai Vehicles

  • 2012-2017 Hyundai Accent
  • 2006-2011 Hyundai Azera
  • 2007-2017 Hyundai Elantra
  • 2009-2013 Hyundai Genesis
  • 2009-2010 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2003-2005 Hyundai Tiburon
  • 2005, 2007-2010 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2002-2005 Hyundai XG350

Kia Vehicles

  • 2006-2009 Kia Amanti
  • 2014-2016 Kia Forte
  • 2001-2006 Kia Optima
  • 2009-2011 Kia Rio
  • 2007-2010 Kia Rondo
  • 2006-2014 Kia Sedona
  • 2005-2016 Kia Sportage

We thank CarComplaints.com for reprint permission.

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