Federal safety investigators have launched a probe into an estimated 123,000 2012 Hyundai Elantra and Elantra Touring models after an alleged driver injury, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NHTSA said it “received a complaint of an improper deployment of the driver-side curtain airbag that deployed as a result of a crash,” according to its defect investigations summary. “The photographs of the 2012 Hyundai Elantra provided by the vehicle owner show a metal component protruding from the left edge of the headliner above the driver’s seat.
“It appears that the metal component caused a laceration to the driver’s ear/face.”
NHTSA said it has opened an investigation — formally called a preliminary evaluation — to evaluate the alleged defect. No crashes, fires or fatalities are linked to the probe, it said. Such an investigation is sometimes the precursor to a recall.
Hyundai told Inside Line on Thursday that the injury is an “isolated incident” and said it has no other reports of injury from side curtain airbag deployment in the 2012 Elantra.
“The evaluation is in the very early stages,” wrote Jim Trainor, a Hyundai Motor America spokesman, in an e-mailed message. “Neither Hyundai nor NHTSA has had an opportunity to inspect the 2012 Elantra that is the subject of this evaluation.”