On Tuesday, August 23, a truck crashed, caught fire, and exploded in the small town of Quemado near Eagle Pass, Texas. The explosion leveled the nearby home of Lucila Robles, killing her, and left debris more than two miles away. On Monday, August 29, Takata Corp., the troubled airbag manufacturer, confirmed that the truck was carrying Takata airbag inflators with their ammonium nitrate propellant. Takata has a warehouse in Eagle Pass and a factory across the border in Monclava, Mexico.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a formal engineering analysis investigation into airbags made by ARC Automotive after the company's airbags were linked to the death of a Canadian driver last month. The fatality in Canada was due to the driver's Hyundai Elantra's airbag inflator exploding as a result of a low impact collision. This death was the first known fatality in recent years from a rupture in an airbag manufactured by a supplier other than Takata. Previous non-fatal incidents involving ARC airbags in 2009 and 2014 sparked preliminary investigations into whether the airbags should be the subject of a product recall.