Kia, Hyundai Airbag Failures are Under Investigation
When you buy a new vehicle, you expect it to work properly – especially its essential safety features such as airbags. Unfortunately, many consumers find themselves with cars that have serious defects including with life-saving features that are supposed to provide protection in case of accident. If the car you purchased has serious problems, a California lemon law attorney may be able to help you take legal action to pursue an appropriate remedy.
Problems with airbags have been a major issue in recent years, with millions of cars on the market containing faulty Takata airbags that can explode upon impact, sending shards of metal around the vehicle and killing car occupants. Now, there is another potential airbag issue affecting some Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into certain models of both Hyundai and Kia cars after reports that airbags failed to deploy.
Airbag Problems Prompt Investigation of Hyundais and Kias
The Drive wrote about the new issue with Hyundai and Kia vehicles. According to The Drive, there were reports of six different front-end crashes in which the vehicles suffered substantial damage but the airbags never deployed. The serious accidents resulted in six people getting hurt and resulted in four people losing their lives.
The NHTSA began an investigation based on these reports, with their probe focused on the 2012 and 2013 models of the Kia Forte and on the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Based on the NHTSA's investigation into what went wrong, it is believed that the airbags failed to deploy as a result of a problem with the electronics in the computers that control the airbag. There were parts in this electronic system that were made by a company called ZF-TRW which ended up short-circuiting.
There are potentially 425,000 Hyundai Sonata and Kia Forte vehicles that could be affected by this problem with the short-circuiting parts in the airbag's electronic control system. However, the problem could be more widespread and not confined to just these vehicle models alone. The NHTSA has launched an investigation in order to determine which other lawmakers, if any, also made use of parts from the same supplier of the short-circuiting controls.
The supplier that provided the faulty parts has come under scrutiny in the past after airbags failed to deploy due to computer problems in Fiat Chrysler cars and SUVs. This incident occurred in 2016 and more than 1.4 million Fiat vehicles had to be recalled because the airbags were not deploying reliably due to the faulty ZF-TRW parts. And, Hyundai also had to issue a recall of 155,000 Sonatas already because of this issue, although the car company is still working out a remedy at this time and the recall is expected to start April 20, 2018.
When airbag parts don't work, or any safety equipment fails, the consequences can be catastrophic. Consumers have the right to expect that the cars they buy will be reliable and should make certain to watch for news of recalls. Consumers should also contact a California lemon law attorney if a car they purchase turns out to have serious defects and they want help pursuing an appropriate legal remedy.