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MLG Files Class Action Against OEMs Regarding Air Bags

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July 17, 2019—MLG along with Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP, has filed a national class action lawsuit against seven automotive manufacturers and a tier-one parts supplier for what it calls a "deadly air bag defect." 

The case, Ryan Baldwin v. Kia Motor America, Inc., was filed in federal court Monday in Los Angeles. The named parties are automakers Kia, Hyundai, FCA, Mitsubishi, Acura, Honda and Toyota, and supplier ZF TRW Automotive.

The lawsuit alleges that 12.3 million vehicles have a defective air bag control unit (ACU), which causes air bags to not deploy and seatbelt locks to fail during a collision. According to the complaint, the ACU manufactured by ZF TRW experiences "electrical overstress" during an accident – described as an overload of electrical impulses – causing a failure of the vehicle's safety restraint systems.

According to Jonathan Michaels, head of the MLG legal team, if the number of impacted vehicles remains at 12.3 million, this would be the fourth largest automotive recall in the nation's history. The lawsuit claims the automakers have allegedly known of the defect since 2011, but have refused to issue a recall because of economics. Under federal law, car manufacturers are required to issue a recall within five days of learning of a defect. 

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