Volvo adds 195,000 vehicles to recall for dangerous air bags

FILE - This Feb. 6, 2020, file photo shows the Volvo logo in the lobby of the Volvo corporate headquarters in Brussels. Swedish automaker Volvo said Monday, Oct. 4,2021 it plans to raise at least 25 billion kroner ($2.9 billion) by selling shares to fund its electric vehicle transformation strategy. Volvo and its parent company, Chinese carmaker Geely, have applied to hold an initial public offering on the Nasdaq Stockholm. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File) (Virginia Mayo, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – Volvo is recalling another 195,000 vehicles in the U.S. because the front driver's air bags could explode and send shrapnel into the cabin.

It's the company's third U.S. recall for the issue with air bag inflators made by supplier ZF/TRW. It stems from the death of an unidentified U.S. driver. In all, the recalls cover nearly 768,000 older vehicles worldwide, according to Volvo.

The latest recall posted Thursday by U.S. safety regulators covers XC70 and V70 wagons from the 2001 through 2007 model years that were built from Feb. 22, 2000 through May 4, 2007.

The problem is similar to widespread trouble with air bag inflators made by bankrupt Japanese air bag maker Takata. The company used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air bags. But the chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to high heat and humidity and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister.

At least 19 people in the U.S. and 28 worldwide have been killed by exploding Takata inflators. More than 400 have been injured in the U.S.

The Volvo inflators do not use ammonium nitrate, but the propellant can still deteriorate when exposed to high heat and humidity, according to documents posted Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Volvo said in the documents that the fatality is the only inflator rupture case that it knows of.

ZF/TRW said the inflators were not sold to any other automakers in the U.S. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Livonia, Michigan, near Detroit.

Earlier this month Volvo recalled nearly 260,000 older cars in the U.S. for the same problem. That was in addition to a recall from November of 2020.

Volvo said Thursday that it will contact owners of all the recalled cars and tell them how to get the vehicles repaired.

Dealers will replace the driver's air bag “with a modern state-of-the-art propellant/inflator,” the Volvo documents say. Owners in the latest U.S. recall will be notified by letter starting Dec. 14.