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.
NHTSA Launches Investigation Over Hyundai and Kia Airbag Deaths