2012 Hyundai Elantra airbag slices off driver's ear, spurs federal investigation
The NHTSA opened this investigation after one owner complained that when his driver’s side curtain airbag opened during an accident, it pulled with it a metal bracket that impacted the side of the driver’s head – cutting his face and severing half of his ear. There has been no indication as to what type of metal bracket was involved but the complainant submitted pictures of the car after the accident showing the piece of metal – which the NHTSA has already determined to have been responsible for the terrible laceration on the driver’s head and face. However, neither the NHTSA nor Hyundai have yet had a chance to examine the specific Elantra involved in the accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will test the 2012 Hyundai Elantra to see if this metal bracket coming out with the driver’s side curtain airbag is something that is experienced in more than one vehicle. If the NHTSA can replicate the problem, they will begin an engineering analysis to see what exactly is causing the metal bracket to move with the side curtain airbag. Should the feds find that this problem could occur on other vehicles – we can expect that a recall will be issued in a hurry as to prevent any more injuries due to this problem.