The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated on Saturday it is starting an investigation into the concern of some air bags that failed to deploy in Hyundai and Kia vehicles after crashes in which four people were reportedly killed and another six injured.
The agency stated it was reviewing 425,000 2012-2013 Kia Forte and 2011 Hyundai Sonata cars. It also added it will figure out if any other automakers have utilized similar air bag control units and if they posed a safety threat.
Hyundai Motor issued a recall previous month for 154,753 U.S. Sonatas after non-deployment reports were associated with electrical overstress in the air bag control unit, however stated it did not have a final fix yet.
Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor stated the South Korean automaker is knowledgeable of reports of two deaths in its vehicles, which he stated took place in head-on collisions at significantly high rates of speed. Trainor stated the automaker is collaborating with NHTSA in the investigation, and that it has not observed any concerns with any vehicle except from the 2011 Sonata.
“We are collaborating on getting the fix as fast we can,” Trainor stated.
NHTSA, which announced the start of the investigation in documents published on a government website, stating it was aware of six accidents in which six people were injured when air bags failed to deploy in frontal crashes, consisting of four in 2011 Hyundai Sonatas and two in 2012 and 2013 Kia Fortes. The 2013 Forte crash took place in Canada.
The agency stated the air bag control module was constructed by ZF Friedrichshafen-TRW.