NHTSA will investigate Hyundai and Kia airbags.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating six head-on crashes involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles. NHTSA, which is the federal agency responsible for regulating auto safety, is investigating why the airbags failed to deploy during these crashes. Four people have died and another six have suffered injuries.

According to a report published by NHTSA, the problem could affect an estimated 425,000 vehicles manufactured by Kia and Hyundai. Models affected by the investigation include the 2011 Hyundai Sonata midsize vehicles and 2013 and 2014 Kia Forte compact vehicles.

Investigators have traced the issue to electrical problems in airbag computers manufactured by ZF-TRW. The Hyundai vehicles under investigation by NHTSA use these computers. As part of its investigation, NHTSA will determine whether Kia and other automakers are using the same component.

In late February, Hyundai scheduled a recall for 154,753 model-year 2011 Sonatas that could experience airbag failures. Kia has yet to issue a recall, despite knowing of a fatal crash in Oakland where the airbag failed to deploy. The driver suffered injuries and a passenger died.

What Can I Do if My Car Has an Unfixed Recall?

Your vehicle’s manufacturer must notify you when there is a recall. However, you may also be able to use NHTSA’s website to determine the recall status of your vehicle. You would need to find your vehicle identification number (VIN) and enter it into the website. Your insurance or vehicle paperwork may contain your VIN.

In addition, you could call your nearest Hyundai dealership. Automakers must fix recalled vehicles for free. You could set up an appointment to receive free repairs once you have determined your vehicle has an unfixed recall.

If an auto defect harmed you or a loved one, then it may be possible to recover compensation by filing a product liability claim. The San Jose product liability lawyers at Bohn & Fletcher will investigate your claim at no cost. You would not owe us fees unless we successfully recovered compensation for you or your loved one. Call (408) 279-4222 or fill out our online case review form to set up a free consultation.