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Hyundai and Kia Airbag Failures

AIRBAG FAILURES IN HYUNDAI AND KIA VEHICLES LINKED TO AT LEAST FOUR DEATHS AND SIX INJURIES

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into 425,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles, warning owners that airbags may fail to deploy in the event of a collision. The regulator has received six crash reports, resulting in four deaths and six injuries.

DEATHS AND INJURIES NOT DISCLOSED IN PREVIOUS RECALL DOCUMENTS

The federal investigation comes after previous recall announcements made by Hyundai. The automaker announced in February 2018 that it would be initiating a recall affecting certain Sonata vehicles and followed up on the recall in early March, setting the recall number at 155,000.

However, in both instances Hyundai failed to reveal the severity of the defect. While acknowledging it was aware of four “incidents” in its March recall, the automaker did not reveal that the dangerous airbag defect had resulted in injuries and deaths.

On March 17, 2018, NHTSA announced that it would be investigating Hyundai and Kia after receiving six crash reports involving four deaths and six injuries. Additionally, the regulatory agency said its probe would cover 425,000 vehicles, not just the 155,000 initially recalled by Hyundai.

VEHICLES AFFECTED BY HYUNDAI AND KIA AIRBAG DEFECTS

Currently, defective airbags have been observed in the following vehicles, though the list is subject to change as new information is revealed.

  • 2011 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2012 Kia Forte
  • 2013 Kia Forte

HUNDAI AND KIA FACED PREVIOUS NHTSA SCRUTINY

In May 2017, NHTSA opened probes to investigate whether Hyundai and Kia had acted quickly enough to recall more than 1.6 million cars and SUVs prone to engine stalls.

NHTSA noted that such a failure can drastically increase the risk of crash, posing a significant hazard to owners and other motorists.

That investigation is still pending, and the agency is also investigating whether the automakers followed safety reporting requirements.

COMMON INJURIES CAUSED BY AIRBAG FAILURES

Injuries caused by a defective airbag include:

  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck and spinal cord injuries
  • Hearing loss
  • Blindness
  • Death

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 576 people were killed in automobile crashes where a front airbag did not deploy between 2001 and 2006. Of these victims, 360 would have benefited from frontal airbag protection.

OTHER LARGE AIRBAG RECALLS

Over the past decade, there have been multiple widespread recalls on vehicles containing defective and dangerous airbags.

  • Takata Corp. (2013 – present) — Eleven deaths have been attributed to airbags manufactured by Takata, which are present in 42 million vehicles across 19 different brands
  • Fiat Chrysler (2016) — Several deaths and injuries were linked to a software defect, causing airbag deployment and seatbelt failure
  • GM Chevy Cruze (2014) — Thousands of vehicles were recalled due to a manufacturing flaw that could prevent airbags from deploying in an accident
  • GM SUV (2014) — More than one million GM SUVs were recalled after faulty wiring could keep side airbags from deploying in the event of a collision

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED AUTO DEFECT ATTORNEY

If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a defective or faulty airbag, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced vehicle recall lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to provide you with a free case review. If an airbag or vehicle manufacturer’s negligence caused your airbag injury, you may be entitled to recover damages to cover medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.

 

 

 

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