News

« Back to News List

April 29, 2019

12.3 million vehicles may have dangerous airbags

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it is expanding its investigation into potentially defective airbags that may fail to deploy in a wreck and that have caused at least eight deaths in the United States. The airbags may not deploy due to “electrical overstress.”

The impacted airbags are in certain 2010-2019 vehicles manufactured by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda Motor Co., Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., Mitsubishi Motors Corp., and Toyota Motor Corp., according to NHTSA.

Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai and Kia have issued recalls for impacted vehicles. Consumers may check to see if their vehicle has been recalled by visiting www.safercar.gov. A vehicle’s VIN, 17 characters, may be found on the lower left side of the windshield or on the registration card.

Vehicles currently being investigated by NHTSA include:

  • 2014-2019 Acura RLX
  • 2014-2019 Acura RLX Hybrid
  • 2012-2014 Acura TL
  • 2015-2017 Acura TLX
  • 2012-2014 Acura TSX
  • 2012-2014 Acura TSX Sport Wagon
  • 2010-2011 Dodge Nitro
  • 2012-2019 Fiat 500
  • 2013-2015 Honda Accord
  • 2014-2015 Honda Accord Hybrid
  • 2012-2015 Honda Civic
  • 2012-2015 Honda Civic GX
  • 2012-2015 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012-2015 Honda Civic SI
  • 2012-2016 Honda CR-V
  • 2012-2017 Honda Fit
  • 2013-2014 Honda Fit EV
  • 2012-2014 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2013-2019 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2013-2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
  • 2015-2017 Jeep Compass
  • 2010-2012 Jeep Liberty
  • 2015-2017 Jeep Patriot
  • 2010-2018 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2013 Kia Forte
  • 2013 Kia Forte Koup
  • 2013-2019 Kia Optima
  • 2012-2016 Kia Optima Hybrid
  • 2014 Kia Sedona
  • 2013-2017 Mitsubishi Lancer
  • 2013-2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
  • 2014-2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart
  • 2013-2016 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
  • 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2009-2012 Ram 1500
  • 2010-2012  Ram 2500
  • 2010-2012 Ram 3500
  • 2011-2012 Ram 4500
  • 2011-2012 Ram 5500
  • 2012-2018 Toyota Avalon
  • 2013-2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid
  • 2011-2019 Toyota Corolla
  • 2011-2013 Toyota Corolla Matrix
  • 2012-2017 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2012-2019 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2012-2017 Toyota Tundra

The investigation, which was first launched in 2018 as a preliminary evaluation of 400,000 vehicles, has now expanded to an engineering analysis of 12.3 million vehicles and their ZF-TRW airbags, according to NHTSA. The allegedly faulty airbags at the heart of the investigation were initially manufactured by TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., now owned by German auto parts manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen, and are alleged to be the cause of as many as eight deaths.

The investigation is said to focus on the electrical components of the airbag unit responsible for sensing a vehicle crash and determining whether airbag deployment and other restraints are needed. The investigation will “evaluate the susceptibility of the subject [airbag control unit] designs to electrical signals, as well as other vehicle factors that can either lead to, or reduce the likelihood of, an [electrical overstress] event. Additionally, [the investigation] will evaluate whether an unreasonable risk exists that requires further field action,” NHTSA reported.

Motley Rice vehicle defect experience

Motley Rice was recently recognized by legal publication Law360 as Consumer Protection Group of the Year for 2018, and our attorneys have played a leading role in some of the largest and most significant litigations in recent years involving alleged fraud by auto manufacturers, including cases involving defective airbags.

Motley Rice represents or has settled more than three dozen claims made by personal injury victims alleging harm by Takata airbags in the U.S. and Malaysia, and was the first law firm to thoroughly investigate the airbag defect by disassembling airbag inflators found in junk yards. The firm also played a key role in helping negotiate a pair of Takata bankruptcy resolutions, achieving a favorable outcome for current and future victims in the wake of the largest automobile recall in history.

For more information or to discuss a potential claim, you may complete this webform or call vehicle defect attorney Kevin Dean at 1.800.768.4026.