According to Automotive News, NHTSA is looking into ARC's airbags after two injuries and a recent death were attributed to the company's products. The two injuries occurred first and prompted the initial inquiry of 490,000 airbags, which then expanded after an airbag from a different line caused the death of a Canadian driver.
The airbags in question are found in GM, FCA, Hyundai and Kia products, and all automakers are cooperating with the investigation, Automotive News reports. It is also important to note that these airbags have not been recalled, as NHTSA is trying to determine the issue and whether a recall is necessary. NHTSA also told the news outlet that the ARC inflators use a different design than those from Takata, instead using some pressurized gas and an ammonium nitrate charge. While the design may be different, the Takata inflators also used ammonium nitrate propellant, which other manufacturers have avoided.
We will be watching this situation closely to see what develops. Here's hoping – for our collective safety and sanity – that we won't have to go through another airbag crisis like with the Takata recall.