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NHTSA Opens Two Investigations Involving Ford, Hyundai and Kia Models

Two important pieces of news came from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today. The agency, which is the American equivalent of Transport Canada, has opened investigations into vehicles belonging to the Ford, Hyundai and Kia groups.

Note that investigations of this kind are a step short of an actual reca. What the NHTSA discovers, however, may lead to a campaign.

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Ford Fusion
Photo: D.Boshouwers
Ford Fusion

Ford

In the case of Ford models, regulators are investigating whether a 2020 recall of vehicles with premature brake line failure issues was done properly. In fact, the agency wants to know if enough models were included in the recall campaign.

At the time, the company recalled 488,000 2020 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles. Now, the NHTSA’s new investigation encompasses 1.7 million vehicles from the 2013-to-2018 model years (Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ), because 50 complaints were received alleging brake line failures. The question is whether the 2020 recall should have been broader.

Ford says it will cooperate fully with the investigation by the NHTSA, which said many of the received complaints reported brake lines rupturing, allowing brake fluid to leak, with virtually no warning. The agency is aware of one alleged accident resulting from a ruptured brake hose.

Kia Sorento
Photo: Kia
Kia Sorento

Hyundai and Kia

The NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation is looking into seatbelt pretensioners in some 2020-to-2022 vehicles produced by the Korean auto giant, saying they could rupture or explode.

The part that manages the tension is a part of the seat belt system that locks the belt in place during an accident. If it breaks, it can release shrapnel and cause abrasions or other injuries.

Three incidents have been reported where the driver's seatbelt deployed abnormally, causing metal fragments to enter the passenger compartment from the rear, causing injuries to the occupants.

Hyundai and Kia issued five separate recalls from October 2021 through April of this year in connection with the problem.

The initial investigation includes the 2021-2022 Hyundai Elantra and Elantra Hybrid, 2021 Hyundai Venue, 2021 Genesis GV80, 2022 Genesis GV70, 2020-2021 Hyundai Accent and 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid.

If the investigation finds that the recall should have been larger, a recall will follow.

Genesis GV70
Photo: D.Boshouwers
Genesis GV70