Major Volvo Truck Air Bag Problems You Must Know

Volvo truck air bag problems are one of the main issues that owners come across this vehicle. In fact, there were some models recalled because of highly concerning air bag problems.

If you happen to own a Volvo truck, or you are looking to purchase one, be sure to learn more about these air bag problems that can keep you safe while driving. 

Here is everything you need to know about these air bag issues with the Volvo truck and what you can do.

volvo truck air bag problems

Volvo Truck Air Bag Problems

Volvo recalled about 260,000 of their vehicles because of concerns about the air bag inflator. According to the Swedish automaker, reports have been made on these inflators exploding without any warning.

Moreover, these inflators utilize a propellant. When exposed to a high level of humidity and heat, this can deteriorate and cause the inflators to explode. And much worse, this can also release some shrapnel into the cabin.

Among the vehicle models recalled are the S80 from model years 2001 to 2006, as well as the 2001 to 2009 models of the S60. 

It is also worth noting that there was a report of an individual being killed due to an explosion of the air bag inflator. This was the only recorded report with this particular issue, yet it has not happened to anyone else.

This issue is reminiscent of the problem with the Takata air bag that was credited for about 19 deaths in the United States and 28 globally. Over 400 people were reported to have been injured by these Takata issues in the United States alone. 

These air bags contained ammonium nitrate to produce a small explosion, which then inflates air bags. Over time, this chemical is likely to deteriorate when exposed to very high heat. Hence, this causes the chemical to combust and blow the metal canister apart.

On the other hand, the ZF/TRW air bags in Volvo trucks do not make use of ammonium nitrate in the inflator. Yet, the propellant is not exempt from the possibility of deteriorating due to high heat. This can also lead to the same issues as the Takata air bags.

The most recent recall on Volvo trucks was in 2020. Albeit it was only a small issue, it was associated with the possibility of an inflator problem because of the significantly high temperatures in the Southern States. This recall involved only a few model years including 2001 to 2003.

Taking Action To Address Volvo Truck Air Bag Problems

taking action to address volvo truck air bag problems

Volvo is taking action to resolve these issues with the air bag by having new inflators installed by dealers. This will be done free of charge to customers. Moreover, these brand new inflators come with state of the art inflator or propellant, which is completely safe and seamless.

The company has recalled over 194,000 XC70 and V70 from model years 2001 through 2007. This was in lieu with reports of the air bag on the driver’s side rupturing and launching metal fragments once the air bag is deployed prematurely. 

As mentioned earlier, these issues commonly occur because of a high level of moisture and humidity that trigger propellant tablets to decay and produce dust particles. Hence, there is a greater surface area that burns once ignited, which increases the pressure of the air bag’s deployment.

With the increased force, this causes a rupturing of the inflator. Thus, the driver is at a high risk of getting struck by metal fragments coming from the inflator.

Other Concerns With Volvo Truck Air Bags

other concerns with volvo truck air bags

Aside from these issues with the air bag rupturing and exploding, there were other concerns raised about the Volvo truck air bags. For instance, there were reports of their Volvo D13 semi truck being incapable of inflating air bags. 

The driver made some changes to the height control valve, and yet, it is still not filling air. Upon checking both valves, the rear axles are getting air from the air tank.

Thus, there were questions as to whether there is a need to check a fuse or a relay for the electronic control valve. What can be done is to have the scanner or PTT program to read the system. Sometimes, manually filling the air bags with the switches found on the dash can help, too. 

Furthermore, it helps to flip down the other switch beside the momentary up and down switch. When doing this, you need to release the brakes since the air system in the vehicle is more than 100 PSI.

Once changing the valve, it is also important to calibrate this with a computer since the valve is only a sensor and the suspension is unable to adjust by itself. Hence, it is essential to get it calibrated sooner than later. If your air suspension is low, this causes the binding up of the driveline that puts so much strain on the transmission.

Read More: Everything You Should Know About Volvo Truck Instrument Cluster Programming

Bottom Line

Volvo truck air bag problems can be quite concerning because of the dangers reported by many drivers regarding the air bag rupturing or exploding unnecessarily. There were also issues with the air bag not filling up air, which can be a concern, as well.

However, we hope you were able to learn more about these issues from this post and take the best action to prevent these problems with the air bag from happening and causing danger to you and your loved ones.

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