Jaguar Land Rover has just announced that it is recalling 40,555 Land Rover SUVs.
The recall, which only covers vehicles in the United States, is due to a defect in passenger side airbags, which the company said may not deploy in the event of a crash.
According to documents that the company filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations, Jaguar Land Rover said that recall covers 2010 to 2015 models of the LR2 and 2012 to 2013 models of the Range Rover Evoque.
"A component within the Occupant Classification System (OCS) Electronic Control Unit (ECU) may fail, resulting in the front seat passenger air bag being totally or partially disabled," the company said. "In the event of a crash necessitating air bag deployment, if the air bag is disabled, the air bag may not deploy or may not deploy properly, increasing the risk of injury to the front seat passenger."
The recall comes almost a month after the NHTSA announced that it will launch an investigation into air bag defects in Chevrolet Impala vehicles. The agency started the probe in response to a petition from Xprts, a motor vehicle crash analysis company. Donald Friedman, an employee of the firm, filed the petition after inspecting a crash that fused the death of an elderly man. The crash, which happened in April 2011, involved Roberto Martinez and his 2008 Chevrolet Impala. Martinez was in the passenger seat when the car that he was in was hit by an SUV and pinned against a highway divider. In spite of the crash, the airbags on Martinez's side did not deploy, causing him to take the full brunt of the collision. He suffered a severe brain injury and was pronounced dead soon after.
According to Friedman, the weight sensor in the passenger seat failed to trigger the airbag because Martinez was bounced around during the crash. Airbags do not deploy when children are in the passenger seat. Thus, the injuries that caused his death were due to the wrong readings from the weight sensor.
Jaguar Land Rover will begin notifying owners about the recall later this month. Affected vehicles include 23,485 Range Rover Evoque vehicles and 17,066 LR2 SUVs.