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Volvo Car is recalling more than 460,000 vehicles worldwide over risk an airbag component that has bedevilled carmakers for years could rupture into metal fragments and strike drivers.

The Swedish carmaker told the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) it has identified potential for tablets of propellant in its vehicles’ airbag inflators to decay if they are subject to moisture and high temperatures. This can lead to the formation of dust particles and cause the inflator to rupture.

In a safety recall report submitted to NHTSA, Volvo said it is aware of one rupture incident related to the condition, which resulted in a fatality. A Volvo spokesperson said the company will recall cars globally in markets that meet certain climate criteria and declined to comment on the estimated cost.

The defect is similar to the issues affecting Takata Corp airbag inflators that spurred the most complex and far-reaching car-safety crisis yet. About 100-million of the components have been recalled worldwide, and untold millions are still in cars on the road.

Volvo told NHTSA it received a letter in June 2019 from an attorney alleging an airbag rupture in one of its cars. It has been inspecting vehicles and meeting about the issue since August of that year with NHTSA and German parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen, which supplied the inflators. Autoliv supplied the complete airbag assembly, according to the spokesperson.

The carmaker is recalling two car models — the S60 and S80 sedans — that the company produced as early as May 2000 and as late as March 2009. Almost 260,000 vehicles are affected in the US.

Volvo announced on Monday it will look to raise at least 25-billion kronor in Sweden’s biggest initial public offering in decades. The company expects to debut on the Nasdaq Stockholm before year-end.

Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com


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