The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching an investigation into automakers based in Korea. Aaron Dickens has more
As many as 425,000 automobiles made by the South Korean manufacturers may be affected, according to an investigation report posted on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website. NHTSA is investigating whether vehicles made by other carmakers also may be at risk. Hyundai and Kia shares fell.
The crashes involve Hyundai Sonatas and Sonata hybrids made in 2011, and Kia Forte and Kia Forte Koups made in 2012 and 2013. Hyundai on Feb. 27 recalled almost 155,000 Sonatas after determining that an electrical overstress failed to inflate the air bags during collisions. Hyundai is looking into the product supplier, ZF-TRW, for a possible cause for the electrical problem.
Air bags already are linked to the largest and most complex auto-related recall in U.S. history — the one that ultimately led to Japan’s Takata Corp. to seek court protection from creditors after its devices were linked to at least 17 deaths. Unlike the Takata situation, which involved exploding air bags with shrapnel, the latest probe involves devices that failed to deploy at all.