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NHTSA Moves Forward With Airbag Failure Investigation

May 16, 2018 | By , on Personal Injury.

Airbags can save lives in motor vehicle accidents. This is why it is so important for airbags to work properly. Unfortunately, there have been many incidents in recent years where faulty airbags have endangered passengers or caused motorists to suffer much more serious injuries in motor vehicle collisions.  When an airbag fails and injury occurs as a result of the defect, a Miami accident attorney can help those who have been harmed to take legal action to hold the car maker or airbag manufacturer accountable.

There have been several recent incidents in which airbag failures occurred, and according to The Drive, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now investigating crashes where airbags did not deploy.

NHTSA is Conducting an Investigation After Airbag Failures in Kia and Hyundai Vehicles

The airbag failures that prompted the NHTSA investigation occurred in Hyundai and Kia vehicles. There were a total of six front-end motor vehicle accidents where there was serious damage to the front of the vehicle and the air bag failed to deploy despite the fact that the crash should unquestionably have triggered it.  The six serious accidents in which the air bags did not deploy resulted in four people losing their lives and resulted in six motorists suffering serious injuries.

The affected vehicles in which the airbags did not deploy which NHTSA is now investigating included a 2011 Hyundai as well as a 2012 and 2013 Kia Forte. If the investigation reveals that this problem is a widespread one, The Drive estimates that as many as 425,000 cars made by Korean automakers could potentially be impacted and might need to be recalled for airbags to be fixed.

NHTSA believes that it has identified the reason why the airbags did not deploy in the particular situations that the Administration is studying. The problem likely occurred because there were issues with the electronics in the computers that control the airbags.

Several parts, which were made by a company called ZF-TRW, short circuited, which was likely the reason why the computers did not prompt the airbags to deploy. NTHSA is currently conducting an investigation in order to determine if there are other automakers beyond Kia and Hyundai who may have used the same parts supplier for their own airbag parts.

This same supplier has experienced problems in the past and, in fact, an estimated 1.4 million Fiat Chrysler cars and SUVs had to be recalled in 2016 as a result of malfunctioning airbag computer parts manufactured by ZF-TRW.  Hyundai also had to issue a recall for an estimated 155,000 Sonatas – the 2011 model – because of an issue with the airbag parts. Hyundai is still currently developing a remedy, but as of now, the car company does not know how it will fix the problem.

The Drive indicates the type of collision that occurred when the airbags deployed is a relatively uncommon type of crash; however, motorists could still lose their lives if they happen to become involved in this type of accident and the airbag doesn’t deploy because of a problem with parts. A  Miami accident attorney can provide help to victims harmed by an airbag failure or by other defective vehicle parts that result in injuries or fatalities.

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