Second company probed for air bag inflator malfunctions

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating another manufacturer because of exploding air bags that could spew metal fragments into drivers and passengers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says ARC Automotive Inc. made air bag inflators in some older Fiat Chrysler and Kia vehicles that potentially could malfunction. The investigation covers 470,000 Chrysler Town and Country minivans from the 2002 model year and another 70,000 Kia Optima sedans from 2004.

The agency says it received a complaint in December about a 2009 incident in a 2002 Chrysler minivan but determined it was an isolated case. Then in June, Kia told the agency about a lawsuit involving an Optima. The investigation began last week.

Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. is recalling 33.8 million inflators in the U.S. for a similar problem.