National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Expands Airbag Probe to 12.3M Vehicles

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently expanded its investigation into multiple vehicle models with allegedly defective airbag control units. According to investigators, 12.3 million vehicles could be affected by the issue, which may keep the airbags from deploying during a crash. As many as eight deaths are suspected to be related to the potential defect.

NHTSA upgraded its investigation to an engineering analysis, which could signal the federal auto regulator is about to request a recall. We previously wrote about this investigation last year, when NHTSA launched an investigation into Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

The possible defect affects Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Acura, Dodge, Jeep, Mitsubishi and Fiat Chrysler vehicles manufactured between 2010 and 2019. Regulators believe the issue may be caused by airbag control units manufactured by ZF-TRW, a German auto parts manufacturer. During a crash, the airbag control units may short circuit and prevent airbags from deploying.

Which Models Are Possibly Affected by Defective ZF-TRW Airbags?

Multiple models could be affected. See below for a list of the vehicle models NHTSA is investigating.

  • 2012-2014 Acura TSX, 2015-2017 Acura TLX, 2014-2019 Acura RLX (this includes the hybrid version) and the TSX sport wagon.
  • Dodge 2010-2011 Nitro
  • 2012-2019 Fiat 500
  • 2012-2014 Honda Ridgeline, 2012-2015 Honda Civic (this includes both the natural gas and hybrid models), 2012-2016 Honda CR-V, 2013-2014 Honda Fit EV, 2013-2015 Honda Accord, and the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid.
  • 2011-2013 Toyota Matrix, 2011-2019 Toyota Corolla, 2012-2017 Toyota Sequoia and Tundra, 2012-2018 Toyota Avalon, 2012-2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, 2012-2019 Toyota Tacoma Pickups
  • 2009-2012 Dodge Ram 1500, 2009-2012 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500, 2011-2012 Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500
  • 2013-2017 Mitsubishi Lancer, 2013-2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, 2013-2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart, 2013-2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback, 2013 Outlander
  • 2012-2016 Kia Optima Hybrid, 2013 Kia Forte and Kia Forte Koup, 2013-2019 Kia Optima, 2013 Kia Sedona.

Is My Vehicle Affected by Defective ZF-TRW Airbags?

Keep in mind, there is only a partial recall at the moment. Hyundai, Kia and Fiat Chrysler issued recalls for the issue. However, that may change as investigators determine whether a broader recall is necessary. If a larger recall occurs, you should be able to use NHTSA’s VIN (vehicle identification number) search tool to determine whether your vehicle is affected. Your auto manufacturer is also likely to attempt to contact you to inform you of the recall.

Auto manufacturers are required by federal law to fix recalled vehicles for free. If a recall is announced, you can have your vehicle brought to a dealership for repairs. Given the nature of the potential defect, this is a story you should continue to follow.

Contacting a Pennsylvania Car Defect Attorney

If you or a loved one suffered harm due to this potential defect, then you should contact a Pennsylvania car defect attorney at our law firm. Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., have recovered compensation for clients harmed by auto defects. You can learn more about our successful cases by reviewing our website. For a free consultation with a Pennsylvania car defect attorney, please call (215) 546-6636 or use our online case review form.