The airbag is one of the most important safety features in a vehicle. When an airbag doesn’t function as intended, its effects could be potentially dangerous. In January, Toyota issued a recall of nearly 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix models due to a defective IC chip in the airbag’s control unit. The chip could have been distracted by other electrical devices in the car, and could have potentially led to an unexpected deployment of the airbags. This week, USA Today reports that Hyundai is recalling 5,200 2012-2013 Azera models for a possible defect in the airbag system.
According to Hyundai, the defect could affect “the ability of the sensor to properly distinguish when the front passenger airbag should be deactivated.” As a result, an airbag could inflate when a smaller-sized person, such as a child, is in the passenger seat and cause injury or death. Typically, the front seats of vehicles use sensors that are able to differentiate between smaller, lighter passengers and regular-sized adults. The full force of an airbag deployment could be harmful to a smaller-sized person, so airbags usually inflate more gently, or not at all, in the event of a crash.
Autoliv Korea, one of Hyundai’s suppliers, informed the automaker last November that “a change in fabric covering the sensor mat within the seat could cause the system to misread the sensor and inflate the airbag when it shouldn’t,” according to USA Today. The automaker also stated that it received five warranty claims as a result of the airbag warning lights in the models turning on for no reason from May through November 2012.
The Azera models which are the subject of the recall were manufactured between May 22, 2012 and November 23, 2012. Auto World News reports that Hyundai stated that it has fixed the problem in newer models. Hyundai plans to begin notifying owners of the recall in the third quarter of this year. Hyundai dealers will recalibrate the airbag system on the affected vehicles.
It’s not uncommon for automobiles to be recalled because of a problem related to airbags. For instance, this week one of Chrysler’s six unrelated recalls involved vehicles that were manufactured with defective airbag warning lights that could possibly activate when there is no actual problem. Approximately 119,000 Chrysler vehicles were affected by that particular recall. Read more
Last October, General Motors LLC announced the recall of approximately 2,949 vehicles because of a manufacturing defect with the shorting bar in the front driver’s side airbag. Basically, the recall report stated that the shorting bar could accidentally touch the airbag terminals, which would stop the airbag from deploying in the event of an accident. Read more
Yesterday’s recalled news showed that automobile defects can happen on a number of levels, and not just simply during the manufacturing process. In this case, 3,235 Toyota models were recalled by Southeast Toyota Distributors because employees failed to properly install and calibrate passenger side airbag sensors, which means that the safety devices could either deploy unexpectedly or not at all. Read more
Toyota owners in the Southeast U.S. may find themselves with an unexpected burden this week, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that a Florida Toyota distributor may be responsible for malfunctioning airbag sensors in various year models of the Japanese automobile manufacturer’s most popular vehicles. Read more
In a year that has featured reports of automobile recalls for a variety of reasons, ranging from defective airbags to engine fires, it is important to remind consumers that the size of a recall doesn’t always define the severity. Read more
While it’s not quite on par with the recent major automobile recalls by Ford Motor Co., which recalled 154,604 Fiestas for failure to meet federal airbag standards, or Chrysler Group LLC, which recalled 744,822 Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee vehicles for defective airbags, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. Read more
Ford Motor Company announced the recall of more than 154,000 Fiesta vehicles in October because, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported, the design of the popular compact automobiles failed to meet federal airbag standards. Read more
When people think about airbag safety in their automobiles, they generally think of that giant balloon that comes from the steering wheel and above the glove compartment. Front airbags are crucial in saving lives in automobile accidents, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the supplemental safety devices saved more than 25,000 lives in the United States between 1987 and 2008. But last year the NHTSA also declared that more needed to be done in regard to side curtain airbags. Read more
Any time a person is seeking to buy a used car, it is imperative that he or she do a thorough background check on the vehicle. This should go well beyond the typical declaration of “Show me the Carfax”, because there’s so much more to a vehicle’s history than just accidents. Obviously, an accident history is crucially important knowledge, but so is the vehicle’s repair and maintenance background. Read more