Volvo Recalls Almost 260,000 S60 and S80 Sedans for Faulty Airbags

This is an expansion of a recall from 2020 that covered only vehicles in “hot and humid” areas

2007 Volvo S80
2007 Volvo S80
Photo: Volvo

Volvo is recalling S60 sedans from the 2001 through 2009 model years and S80 sedans from the 2001 through 2006 model years because a part within the driver’s-side airbag might rupture and launch metal fragments toward occupants if the airbag deploys. One person has been killed as a result of these faulty airbags, according to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NHTSA says that humidity and elevated moisture levels can cause the propellant tablets, which are used to inflate the airbag, to decay and form dust particles. The result of this is that there is more surface area to burn when ignited, increasing the force of the airbag deployment. This increased force could cause the inflator to rupture, and the driver could be struck by fragments of metal from the inflator.

This is a widening of a similar recall from November 2020. In that recall, only models in certain states and U.S. territories were affected because of the hot and humid weather conditions in those specific areas. This new recall covers all S60 and S80 models without regard to where they were sold or registered.

These airbag inflators were made by ZF. They are not related to faulty airbags made by Takata.

2007 Volvo S80
2007 Volvo S80 interior

Photo: Volvo Photo: Volvo

The Details

Vehicles recalled: A total of 259,383 vehicles are being recalled.

  • Volvo S60 sedans manufactured between June 28, 2000, and March 30, 2009
  • Volvo S80 sedans manufactured between May 15, 2000, and Feb. 7, 2006

The problem: The propellant used to inflate the driver’s airbag could degrade over time if exposed to high temperatures and humidity. If this happens, the airbag’s inflator could rupture when the airbag deploys, spraying metal pieces of the inflator at the vehicle’s occupants with such force that they can cause injury or death.

The fix: Volvo will replace the faulty driver’s airbag with new ones that contain a different propellant and inflator, free of charge.

How to contact the manufacturer: Volvo is expected to notify owners by mail beginning Nov. 29, 2021. Owners may contact customer service at 800-458-1552. 

NHTSA campaign numbers: 21V766. Volvo internal number is R10125.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, your vehicle doesn’t currently have any open recalls. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly to see whether your vehicle has had a recall issued.

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Jon Linkov

I owe my career to two fateful events: my father buying a 1965 Corvette and my purchase of an Audi A4 rather than a Chevy Tahoe. The Corvette jump-started my love of cars, and the Audi led me to automotive journalism, track days, and amateur car repair. In my free time I cycle as much as possible, no matter the season.