CALIFORNIA – According to a news report published online at europe.autonews.com, a defective airbag lawsuit has been filed in a U.S. federal court against six automobile manufacturers. The lawsuit, which was filed in California, alleges that the manufacturers and one supplier hid the defects from vehicle owners.
The lawsuit is now pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and counsel for the plaintiffs are seeking to turn it into a class action lawsuit. The defendants in the suit are Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motors America, Mitsubishi Motors America, Fiat Chrysler, American Honda Motor, and Toyota Motor USA. In addition, the suit names one supplier, ZF Friedrichshafen subsidiary TRW.
The suit alleges that the airbag control units can seize up in the event of an accident and result in failure of the airbags to deploy. Six plaintiffs are named in the lawsuit, and they say they would not have bought their vehicles or would not have agreed to pay the same amount if they had known the airbags were defective. The plaintiffs own varying models of vehicles, and the suit lists out more than 50 different models allegedly containing the defective airbags.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is also conducting an investigation into airbags made by TRW. NHTSA recently expanded the scope of its investigation to include more than 12 million vehicles, all manufactured by the named defendants in the California lawsuit. Among the injuries being investigated by NHTSA, the agency is looking into 13 reports of death after an accident in which the airbags failed to deploy.
Hearings will take place in the future to see if the lawsuit will be turned into a class action.
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