Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm announce that automakers Kia and Hyundai are recalling 1.9 million vehicles due to air bag and brake light switch problems. The recall includes vehicles with model years between 2007 and 2011.
Additionally, Hyundai is recalling more than 185,000 Elantras with model years 2011 to 2013 to apply adhesives to headliners that may become dislodged during a side airbag deployment. Spokespeople for Hyundai stated that there was at least one report of an injury from this headliner defect, resulting in a cut ear.
The brake light switch problems may cause the brake lights to fail to illuminate when the brake pedal is pressed, or cause the cruise control to fail to deactivate by pressing the brake pedal. Both of these potentials pose a significantly high risk of crashes. The brake light defects may also cause the push-button start to turn on intermittently, which could prevent the shifter from being moved or allow drivers to move it out of park without first pressing the break. This defect could also cause the electronic stability control malfunction signifier to illuminate.
The affected Hyundai models include the Accent, Tuscon SUV, Elantra, Santa Fe, Veracruz, Genesis, and Sonata. The affected Kia models include the Optima, Rondo, Sedona, Sorento, Soul, and Sportage SUV. The automakers are in the midst of notifying owners, and all Kia and Hyundai dealers will be replacing the defective parts free of charge.
Fortunately, the malfunctioning brake lights do not affect the performance of the breaks; however, if brake lights fail to illuminate, the risk of being rear-ended significantly increases. Like most automakers, Kia and Hyundai use the same parts in as many vehicles as possible to get the best price from suppliers. Although this may make sense economically, it also means that if a supplier manufactures a defective part, it can lead to large-scale recalls.
On the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) website there are 43 safety-related complaints reported concerning the 2011 Hyundai Elantra alone. Among these complaints include problems with the steering, air bag deployment, and brakes. In one air bag complaint, the consumer was involved in an accident when the air bags failed to deploy. Due to this, the driver sustained a concussion and injuries to the back and neck.
Another consumer reported that the car delays in breaking, producing a loud grinding noise and sometimes causes a violent push back. The consumer stated that these issues cause the stopping time to double, and that he has ended up in the middle of intersections at times because the brakes do not kick in. The consumer reports he’s been involved in numerous accidents because of the braking defects, one of which caused hospitalization and a hematoma injury.
Just last year Kia and Hyundai faced a $775 million lawsuit which sought
class-action status after the automaker admitted they overstated the fuel
economy in more than one million of their vehicles. The suit was initially
filed on behalf of more than 30 vehicle owners, challenging the automakers’
compensation plan. Plaintiffs sought reimbursement for the devaluation
of their vehicles, such as the Kia Soul, whose mileage rating was reduced
by six miles per gallon.
Hyundai was additionally sued in 2012 by Consumer Watchdog for misleading consumers. The automaker claimed its 2011 and 2012 Elantra was more fuel-efficient than it actually was. Analysts project the effects of these cases will be costly and long-lasting.
In the aftermath of an accident, no matter whom or what caused it, it can be extremely frustrating to negotiate with an insurance company or other parties. Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm understand your frustration, and have the skills and experience to help you with your case. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an automobile accident through the negligence of another, you have important legal rights, and may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.