US Government Launches Investigation Into Hyundai And Kia Airbags

US Government Launches Investigation Into Hyundai And Kia Airbags

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is probing four deaths where the air bags failed to deploy during a crash related to a Hyundai-Kia recall.

Pictured here is a 2012 Hyundai Motor Co. A Hyundai spokesperson told A.P. that the problem occurred in "rare high-speed head-on collisions offset from the center of the vehicles". In this case, according to the NHTSA document, the device affected air bag control units supplied by the auto part manufacturer ZF-TRW.

Hyundai was already aware of problems with air bag control units as of February 27, when the company filed a defect information report that led to a recall of 154,751 model-year 2011 Hyundai Sonatas.

All of the accidents involved either 2011 Hyundai Sonatas or 2012-2013 Kia Fortes, according to documents posted on the NHTSA's website Saturday.

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The NHTSA's investigation will "evaluate the scope of Hyundai's recall", confirm whether Kia is using similar ZF-TRW computers and look into other factors that could have caused airbag malfunctions.

Hyundai filed a report on the issue at the end of last month that led to a recall, but "has not identified a remedy".

Hyundai on Feb 27 recalled almost 155,000 Sonatas after determining that an electrical overstress failed to inflate the air bags during collisions.

The agency says it also is looking into a 2016 recall involving Fiat Chrysler vehicles that had a similar problem causing the air bags not to deploy. The settlement, which the Justice Department deemed "unprecedented", is the largest civil penalty in Clean Air Act history.



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