Are you one of the 33 million drivers with a dangerously faulty airbag? – National & International News – THU 18May2023


Are you one of the 33 million drivers with a dangerously faulty airbag?

Disney halts $867m expansion Florida amid DeSantis feud.

Confusion over fate of four kids, including baby, lost 17 days in jungle after plane crash.



Are you one of the 33 million drivers with a dangerously faulty airbag?

ARC Automotive Inc. of Knoxville, TN, a component supplier for major car manufacturers, is refusing to recall 67 million airbag components which may have a dangerous and deadly flaw. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says around 33 million American drivers have these faulty airbags and don’t even know it.

NHTSA has called for ARC to recall the airbag inflators after two people in the US and Canada were killed by shrapnel when their airbags exploded in minor accidents. There have apparently been a total of seven ARC inflator ruptures in the US, not all of which resulted in fatal injuries.

NHTSA believes this happened because of welding debris left inside the component during the manufacturing process. Their theory is that this debris blocks the flow of propellant when the airbag deployment mechanism is triggered by a collision. The result is that instead of inflating the airbag as normal, the mechanism explodes and sends shrapnel flying out at head and neck height. 

In a letter to ARC demanding a recall, Stephen Ridella of NHTSA wrote, “Air bag inflators that project metal fragments into vehicle occupants, rather than properly inflating the attached air bag, create an unreasonable risk of death and injury”.

GM recalls 1 million vehicles

Last week, General Motors recalled nearly 1 million vehicles equipped with ARC inflators. The recall covers certain 2014-2017 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia SUVs. ARC also supplies airbags inflators to Ford, Volkswagen, Kia, Chrysler, Hyundai, and BMW and possibly others.

But so far, ARC has refused to issue a recall of its inflators, claiming that there is no defect in the inflators, and that any problems resulted from “random ‘one-off’ manufacturing anomalies”. Steve Gold, ARC’s Vice President of Product Integrity, also contends that end manufacturers (the car companies) must initiate recalls, rather than component manufacturers like ARC. Gold claims that NHTSA’s recall demand to ARC exceeded the agency’s authority.

To force a recall, NHTSA must schedule a public hearing then take ARC to court.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Disney halts $867m expansion Florida amid DeSantis feud

Disney has scrapped a planned $867 million expansion in Florida due to the company’s feud with Gov. Ron DeSantis. The expansion would have created a whole new Disney residential campus at Lake Nona near the Orlando theme park.  The Lake Nona campus was first announced in 2021. However, this was before a major rift between the company and Florida’s Republican leadership last year.

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” law which effectively banned discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in schools. In retaliation, DeSantis and the Florida Republicans revoked Disney’s special tax status. This special administrative status allowed Disney to run its park and properties like self-contained towns with independent civilian infrastructure, (everything from sewer and sanitation to emergency services). While this change hurt Disney’s business, it also shifted the park’s massive tax burden onto local residents and municipalities.

Major loss

In an internal memo, Disney did not specifically point to these political machinations as the reason for canceling the Lake Nona project. The memo cited only “considerable changes” that had taken place since Lake Nona was first announced.

Disney also had a high-profile leadership shake-up last November. Longtime former CEO Bob Iger returning in November to steer the firm through a downturn in business after the company’s new streaming service Disney+ failed to live up to expectations. 

DeSantis’ office was quick to attribute the loss of the high-profile development as being entirely due to Disney’s business woes. However, despite setbacks in other Disney ventures, their theme parks remain hugely profitable.

There’s no question the cancelation of the Lake Nona project is a major loss for DeSantis’ state, however he would like to spin it. The complex at Lake Nona would have housed about 2000 of Disney’s white-collar tech employees. These are mostly connected with Disney’s Imagineers, their theme park research and development group. Many of the employees would have relocated from California to Florida with an average salary of $120,000 a year.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Confusion over fate of four kids, including baby, lost 17 days in jungle after plane crash

On May 1, a Cessna 206 airplane crashed in the Amazon rainforest in Colombia, killing three adults. Colombian President Gustavo Petro claimed earlier today that four children, aged 11 months, 4, 9 and 13, had been rescued after surviving the crash and 17 days alone in the jungle. However, Petro has now retracted the claim that the children had been rescued, saying there was no official confirmation they had been found. The children’s mother was apparently among those who died in the crash.

More than 100 Colombian soldiers and tracker dogs are searching the difficult rainforest terrain. Soldiers had followed a trail of small objects, such as baby bottles and hair ties, indicating the kids had been on the move. Some reports indicated that searchers had found a shelter built from sticks. 

Confusingly, reports from other sources indicated that the children had been found alive and in good health, while another claimed they were being moved downriver to reunite with their families. While reports conflict wildly, it seems that the chances of the children being recovered alive and well are good.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.