US expands probe into air bag failures to 12.3M vehicles

phys.org | 4/23/2019 | Staff
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U.S. auto safety regulators have expanded an investigation into malfunctioning air bag controls to include 12.3 million vehicles because the bags may not inflate in a crash. The problem could be responsible for as many as eight deaths.

Vehicles made by Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Fiat Chrysler from the 2010 through 2019 model years are included in the probe, which was revealed Tuesday in documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It involves air bag control units made by ZF-TRW that were installed in the vehicles.

Control - Units - Crash - Signals - Crash

The control units can fail in a crash, possibly because of unwanted electrical signals produced by the crash itself that can disable an air bag control circuit housed in the passenger compartment, according to NHTSA documents. The electrical signals can damage the control circuit, the documents say.

ZF, a German auto parts maker which acquired TRW Automotive in 2015, said in a statement that it's committed to safety and is cooperating with NHTSA and automakers in the investigation.

April - NHTSA - Probe - Evaluation - Engineering

On April 19, NHTSA upgraded the probe from a preliminary evaluation to an engineering analysis, which is a step closer toward seeking recalls. So far,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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