Lawsuit Filed Over Allegedly Defective Cadillac Escalade Airbags

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The class action lawsuit alleges that a 2007 to 2010 model year Cadillac Escalade unit in Tennessee suffered from ARC airbag failure.

The lawsuit was filed against Cadillac parent, General Motors (GM), by Tennessee plaintiff, Rittie Marshall – owner of the 2007 Escalade, in the US District Court of Tennessee (Western Division), according to a Car Complaints report. The lawsuit was filed against Cadillac’s parent company, General Motors, alleging that the aforementioned third-generation model year Cadillac Escalade had a flaw that could cause the metal airbag inflator to explode, potentially injuring or killing the occupants of the luxury SUV. Marshall stated that he was not aware of a damaged inflator in the Escalade airbag, and did not certify that his Escalade airbag inflator was blown.

According to the lawsuit, 2007 through 2010 Cadillac Escalades in the state of Tennessee were equipped with ARC airbag inflators that contained phase-stable ammonium nitrate (PSAN), which inflates the airbags. However, these propellant can apply too much pressure to the metal inflator, which can cause component fragmentation and potentially cause bodily injury to vehicle occupants.

ARC allegedly used a flawed friction welding design when assembling the airbags. This refers to “a process in which rotational forces cause metal to soften so that two or more pieces can be welded together,” according to the lawsuit. “Because metal twists as it softens, bits of metal can be thrown into unwanted locations and solidify. This is called a ‘flash weld’ or ‘flash.’”

The Cadillac Escalade isn’t the only vehicle that’s been called out for allegedly having a faulty ARC airbag. The ARC airbag inflator installed in the Kia Optima was also reported to have ruptured, seriously injuring the driver, while a passenger in a Hyundai Elantra died in Canada in 2016 in a similar incident. GM issued recalls in the past to address airbag issues on 2010 and 2011 Chevrolet Malibu models in response to a 2017 incident involving an airbag explosion in the 2011 Malibu. Additionally, a driver of a 2015 Chevrolet Traverse was killed when an ARC airbag exploded, triggering the recall. back from GM.

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