Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

USA inquiry focuses on 4 air bag-connected crash deaths

USA inquiry focuses on 4 air bag-connected crash deaths

Four people are dead after some air bags failed to deploy in Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp vehicles.

The models being investigated are 2011 Hyundai Sonatas and 2012 and 2013 Kia Fortes, according to a document posted on the NHTSA website.

The NHTSA noted that failure of the air bag control unit may prevent the frontal air bags from deploying in the event of a crash.It is now aware of six crashes with significant collision-related damage events involving Hyundai and Kia models, where the air bags failed to deploy in frontal crashes. The MY 2013 Forte crash occurred in Canada and the Forte was a Canadian market vehicle.

The recall involved 155,000 Hyundai Sonata vehicles produced between December 2009 and September 2010 at their plant in the southern state of Alabama. A spokesperson for Kia could not be reached for comment.

Apparently four people are dead and six are injured, reported ABC.

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Jim Trainor, Hyundai spokesman, told the news organization that "it's very unusual to have that kind of collision".

ZF-TRW said in a statement that it is prevented by confidentiality agreements from identifying other automakers who bought its air bag control computers.

The problem has been traced to circuit shorts in air bag control computers. Hyundai is looking into the product supplier, ZF-TRW, for a possible cause for the electrical problem.

In May of a year ago, NHTSA opened an investigation into whether Hyundai and Kia moved quickly enough to recall more than 1.6 million cars and SUVs because the engines can stall, increasing the risk of a crash. The NHTSA document says the Office of Defects Investigation is already aware of a previous recall in which the air bag control units of certain Fiat Chrysler vehicles also seemed to experience electrical overstress condition. The agency is also investigating whether vehicles made by other carmakers used similar air bag control units and if they may be at risk.

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