undergroundnewsroom.com April 22, 2018

United States investigates air bag failures in fatal Hyundai, Kia auto crashes

19 March 2018, 01:25 | Gordon Grant

Hyundai, Kia Under Probe by US for Cars That Led to 4 Deaths

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

According to the NHTSA website, some 420,000 cars are under investigation, including 300,000 Sonatas and 120,000 Fortes sold there.

Hyundai issued a recall last month for more than 150,000 U.S. Sonatas after incidents of non-deployment were linked to electrical overstress in the air-bag control unit, but said it did not have a final fix.

Hyundai said in a statement that it found three out of four Sonata sedans had failures with the electrical circuit of the airbag control system and it is still probing the remaining model.

The NHTSA is also investigating into other automakers that could see similar problems.

The U.S. government is looking into whether other automakers have used the same airbag control system and whether the same problem could occur with vehicles made by them. NHTSA now wants to know if other automakers used the same computer.

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The investigation launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to raise the number of vehicles that Hyundai might have to recall. That followed concerns raised by a South Korean whistleblower with the regulator in 2016 that Hyundai had concealed defects and that recalls were not issued in a timely manner. Kia Motors Corp said it will work closely with NHTSA, including monitoring crash reports and conduct more crash tests as needed.

Last week, USA consumers filed class-action complaints in Miami federal court to recover costs against units of General Motors and Volkswagen as well as Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz and Fiat Chrysler.

Hyundai Motor shares tumbled 4.8 percent while Kia Motors lost 3.7 percent.

Under the investigation, ODI will evaluate the scope of Hyundai's recall, confirm Kia's use of the same or similar ZF-TRW ACU, review the root cause analysis of all involved parties, and review and evaluate pertinent vehicle and/or ACU factors that may be contributing to, or causing EOS failures.

The agency stated the air bag control module was constructed by ZF Friedrichshafen-TRW.

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