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Hyundai and Kia Probed for Possibly Defective Airbags

Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are being investigated by the NHTSA for a string deadly car crashes due to possibly defective airbags, which failed to deploy in frontal collisions.

The investigation targets 2011 model year Sonatas and the 2012/2013 model year Kia Forte, reporting a total of six front-end crashes resulting in six injuries and four deaths. Initial findings reveal faulty airbag control computers with shorted electrical circuits made by ZF-TRW, an automatic pats supplier.

In all, up to 425,000 vehicles may be affected across both brands.

In response, Hyundai has officially issued a recall, with 155,000 Sonatas recalled in Feb. No answer yet by Kia, which is currently in the process of monitoring crash reports and launching tests.

In its probe, the NHTSA is also checking to see other automakers using the same component and supplier.

This issue follows Takata’s ongoing recall woes for 50-million plus defective airbags that explode shrapnel due to a chemical drying agent-less airbags, which inflate improperly in warm weather conditions. 15 deaths and countless injuries have occurred as a result, with up to $650 million awarded to U.S. states and $1 billion-plus in automaker lawsuits.

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