A lawsuit filed against Hyundai North America and Kia Motors America claims that the two car manufacturers failed to tell customers that their vehicles had faulty airbags.
According to Autonews, the lawsuit filed on Monday asserts that two recent new car buyers discovered the airbags in their vehicles had not been repaired or replaced when they purchased their vehicles.
The suit asserts that the airbag control units in question were made by U.S. supplier TRW and ZF Friedrichshafen. It is alleged that a number of Hyundai and Kia vehicles are fitted with airbags which may not deploy as the control unit can become “overstressed” by excess electrical energy during a crash. It is also claimed that the defect could prevent the airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners from deploying.
The plaintiffs named in the suit, Michael Hernandez and Tammy Tyler, claim that they would not have purchased their vehicles or not have paid as much as they did if they were aware of the airbag control unit defect.
It is alleged that 2013 Kia Forte and Forte Koup, 2013-19 Optima, 2012-16 Optima Hybrid, 2014 Sedona, and 2013-19 Hyundai Sonata and Sonata Hybrid models are outfitted with the defective airbag control unit.
According to attorney David Stellings from Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Berstein, one of the two California law firms representing the plaintiffs, the companies involved were aware of the defect.
“We all expect seat belts and airbags to work properly whenever we or our family members drive or ride in a car. The most outrageous part of ZF-TRW’s and the carmakers’ behavior is that airbags and seat belts exist for only one reason: to protect passengers from being hurt in a crash. The defective ZF-TRW airbag and seat belt system the automakers installed in these cars do exactly the opposite — they stop working when the car crashes.”