US investigating deadly Hyundai, Kia airbag failures

March 18, 2018
Airbags contain a chemical propellant which can inflate a bag within 0.0005 seconds

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into a series of deadly crashes in which airbags in Hyundai and Kia cars failed to inflate.

The administration's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) "is currently aware of six crashes with significant collision-related damage events involving Hyundai and Kia models where failed to deploy in frontal crashes," which four people died and six were hurt, its website said.

The "failure of the airbag control unit (ACU) may prevent the frontal airbags from deploying in the event of a ," it said.

Hyundai filed a report on the issue at the end of February that led to a recall, but the firm said it had not yet "identified a remedy."

The recall involved 155,000 Hyundai Sonata vehicles produced between December 2009 and September 2010 at their plant in the southern state of Alabama.

"Hyundai is aware of three rare and unique accidents where airbag control circuitry was confirmed to be damaged and a fourth accident is under investigation," the South Korean automaker said.

"We are actively investigating what exactly causes the airbag control unit to become damaged in these specific types of ," it said.

Kia is partially owned by Hyundai, and together they form the world's fifth largest automaking group. A Kia spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

The ODI investigation, which was opened Friday, will evaluate the scope of the recall, will determine if Kia and other manufacturers are using the same or similar airbag control unit as Hyundai, and review factors that may be causing the failures, it said.

An estimated 425,000 cars may be affected by the issue.

Explore further: US safety agency may expand Hyundai air bag recall

Related Stories

US expands Hyundai Elantra air bag probe

September 17, 2012

(AP)—U.S. safety regulators have added two model years to an investigation of an air bag problem with Hyundai Elantras that cut a car owner's ear in half.

Hyundai Motor 2017 net profit sinks 20.5%

January 25, 2018

South Korea's biggest automaker Hyundai saw profits slump last year, it said Thursday, as it was battered by tougher competition and Chinese retaliation over the deployment of a US missile system.

Recommended for you

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.