US Government Launches Investigation Into Hyundai And Kia Airbags

US takes closer look at Hyundai-Kia cars linked to 4 deaths where air bags failed

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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