US probes Hyundai, Kia after 4 deaths tied to airbags

Federal safety regulators say that at least four people have died following head-on crashes in Hyundai and Kia cars i...

Posted: Mar 20, 2018 2:21 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2018 2:21 PM

Federal safety regulators say that at least four people have died following head-on crashes in Hyundai and Kia cars in which the airbags did not deploy.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it's investigating the airbags in 2011 Hyundai Sonatas and 2012 and 2013 Kia Fortes after it received reports the devices failed to deploy in six different crashes that resulted in injuries, including the four involving fatalities.

There are an estimated 425,000 cars on US roads that could be affected by the problem, according to the NHTSA's review, which was made public on Saturday.

Hyundai announced earlier this month that it plans to recall 155,000 of the 2011 Sonatas due to a short circuit in the controller that deploys the airbags. But it has yet to recall the cars because it does not yet have a fix in place. The automaker said it will notify owners by April 20.

Related: Ford recalls 1.4 million cars because steering wheel can come off

Hyundai's initial recall statement did not mention that any deaths or injuries had occurred in the cars with faulty airbags. When asked about the NHTSA's investigation, it said the four accidents involving Sonatas resulted in two deaths and two injuries. It described the accidents as "rare and unique."

"These accidents included a very high rate of speed and a severe offset head-on collision to the front driver side of the vehicle," said the company. "We are actively investigating what exactly causes the airbag control unit to become damaged in these specific types of accidents."

Kia, which is also owned by Hyundai Motors but operates as a separate company in the US, has not announced any recalls for the Forte related to the airbag. Kia said it is working with NHTSA but that it "has not confirmed any airbag non-deployments arising from the potential chip issue."

The airbags were made by ZF-TRW, according to the NHTSA filing. Spokespersons for VF-TRW did not respond to a request for comment.

The largest auto recall in the nation's history involved 50 million airbags made by supplier Takata for 37 million cars across most major automakers. Those airbags, which exploded and sent shrapnel into the car's occupants, have been tied to at least 13 U.S. deaths and more than 200 injuries, according to NHTSA.

Terre Haute
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 56°
Robinson
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 55°
Indianapolis
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 56°
Rockville
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 52°
Casey
Broken Clouds
57° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 57°
Brazil
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 56°
Marshall
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 56°
Showers Today!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Support group aims to prevent suicide among first responders

Image

Monday: Showers, cooler. High: 64

Image

Sunday Evening Forecast

Image

Woman remembers national hero

Image

Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra Concert

Image

Athletes clean up Wabashiki

Image

High speed police chase ends in Vermillion county with gunfire

Image

Farms open for Fall season

Image

Annual Fall-out Ride

Image

'Cruisin' for Cruisers' car show

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 290373

Reported Deaths: 8845
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1436345210
DuPage17471561
Lake16892487
Will13984378
Kane13092326
St. Clair6607190
Winnebago5959149
Madison5698136
Champaign470320
McHenry4581118
Peoria349450
McLean327923
Rock Island299576
Kankakee274177
Unassigned2537244
Sangamon241145
Kendall200925
Tazewell177425
LaSalle171257
DeKalb157938
Macon154444
Coles146430
Williamson140145
Jackson126124
Clinton116920
Boone112523
Adams112310
Randolph93911
Effingham8702
Vermilion7704
Whiteside74320
Ogle7106
Monroe67416
Knox6703
Grundy6695
Henry6665
Morgan66123
Bureau64111
Jefferson61138
Marion5540
Macoupin5447
Christian53911
Franklin5393
Stephenson5236
Union51524
McDonough48015
Logan4641
Crawford4503
Woodford4246
Fayette4183
Cass39811
Livingston3956
Jersey39215
Shelby3904
Montgomery37213
Lee3711
Iroquois36519
Perry35015
Saline3404
Warren3322
Bond3285
Douglas3127
Wayne2805
Jo Daviess2632
Lawrence2562
Carroll2305
Greene22711
Cumberland2175
Hancock2173
Moultrie2143
Jasper2119
Washington2111
Richland2095
Pulaski1801
Fulton1760
Clark1732
White1680
Johnson1560
Clay1540
Wabash1543
Mason1471
Piatt1400
Mercer1395
Pike1281
Menard1251
De Witt1221
Edgar1138
Massac1122
Ford1065
Marshall1040
Alexander811
Scott780
Gallatin732
Hamilton682
Henderson660
Edwards630
Brown610
Calhoun600
Putnam570
Stark552
Schuyler500
Hardin400
Pope291
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 117450

Reported Deaths: 3580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21403766
Lake10618323
Elkhart6667111
St. Joseph6576110
Allen6292203
Hamilton4909109
Vanderburgh371931
Hendricks2747123
Monroe262736
Tippecanoe252313
Johnson2338124
Clark223657
Porter217647
Delaware198562
Cass19549
Vigo184327
Madison168975
LaPorte147441
Floyd138963
Warrick134440
Howard131863
Kosciusko124817
Bartholomew117957
Marshall101224
Dubois99119
Boone98646
Grant93334
Hancock93243
Noble92532
Henry80926
Jackson7689
Wayne76814
Morgan72938
Daviess67728
Shelby67729
Dearborn66528
LaGrange63911
Clinton60914
Harrison58724
Putnam58112
Gibson5305
Knox5259
Lawrence51529
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48711
White48614
Decatur45839
Miami4383
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper3992
Steuben3877
Scott38111
Posey3400
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31125
Ripley3038
Clay3025
Orange28824
Whitley2796
Carroll27713
Adams2743
Wabash2718
Washington2691
Starke2677
Wells2654
Spencer2593
Jefferson2483
Huntington2453
Fulton2412
Tipton22822
Perry22113
Randolph2207
Jay1880
Newton17311
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1621
Rush1574
Vermillion1300
Fountain1282
Blackford1203
Pulaski1131
Crawford1080
Brown1043
Parke1032
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren401
Unassigned0226