Drive one of these Volvos? You need to act now.
If you're the owner of an older Volvo S60 or S80 then this is something you absolutely need to know about. The Swedish automaker has announced a global recall for 460,769 vehicles because the driver's side front airbag might explode and send pieces of shrapnel into the driver's face and the rest of the cabin. About 260,000 of these vehicles are in the US.
What's scary about this is that Volvo has confirmed at least one US fatality because of this issue. The incident took place in November 2020. Documents recently filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration state the recall is specifically for the 2001-2006 S80 and the 2001-2009 S60.
All of these luxury sedans were manufactured between May 2000 and March 2009. According to Volvo, the potentially deadly problem occurs over time and is similar to what happened in the Takata airbag recall. The airbag inflator propellant tablets are exposed to increased levels of moisture and high temperatures. These tablets can then begin to decay and create dust particles that increase the device's burn rate. The inflator could then rupture and potentially deadly metal fragments will be the result.
Resolving the problem, which will be done free of charge for owners, is to simply replace the driver's airbag.
"In the event of a crash where the driver airbag is activated, fragments of the inflator inside the airbag may, in certain cases, project out and in worst case strike you, potentially resulting in serious injury or death," Volvo said in a statement. Affected owners will begin to be notified as early as next month.
The Geely-owned automaker, which earlier this week announced plans to go public in its home country of Sweden, did not say how much the recall is going to cost, but it won't be cheap. What we can confirm is that these airbags were not supplied by Takata, but rather a Swedish supplier called AutoLiv and Germany's ZF.