Safety regulators in the United States are currently investigating a ruptured side air bag in a 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan.

Defective Takata airbags, which could potentially explode upon inflation to send metal shrapnel into the cabin of vehicles, have led to one of the most complicated and largest vehicle safety recalls in the history of the automobile industry, with 34 million vehicles recalled.

However, regulators are taking a closer look at the incident with the 2015 Tiguan because it does not fit the pattern of vehicles that were recalled, which were all at least five years old and mostly being manufactured from the year 2000 to the year 2007.

In addition, Volkswagen is not included in the 11 automobile companies that released recall orders due to the defective Takata air bags.

The cause on why the air bag of the 2015 Tiguan ruptured is not yet clear, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency sent orders on Aug. 13 to Volkswagen and Takata to seek more data on the incident involving a ruptured air bag of a newer model vehicle.

Jared Levy, a spokesman for Takata, said that the company is involved with the NHTSA in the investigation of the incident, with Levy adding that it is believed to be unrelated to the previously issued recalls.

The driver of the 2015 Tiguan was involved in an accident on June 7 in Missouri. The air bag of the vehicle ruptured after the driver struck a deer, according to Mark Gillies, a spokesman for Volkswagen. No injuries were reported stemming from the incident, and Gillies added that the company does not know of other cases wherein air bags in its vehicles ruptured.

The NHTSA requested a list from Volkswagen for all its vehicles that utilize ammonium nitrate in their air bags. The agency also asked Takata to list all the air bags that it manufactured that contains ammonium nitrate.

Analysts believe that the substance, which is used by Takata as a propellant for its air bags, has higher volatility compared to what is used by other suppliers. In addition, ammonium nitrate could become combustible if it is exposed to high-moisture conditions.

Volkswagen forwarded information regarding the June incident in Missouri to the NHTSA on July 15.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.