Federal safety regulators are investigating a report that the side curtain air bag in a 2012 Hyundai Elantra sliced a driver’s ear in half when it inflated.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today on its website that it will probe whether that was a freak incident or that it’s likely to be repeated. About 123,000 2012s have been sold.
According to the Associated Press, the Elantra owner complained to NHTSA that the when side curtain air bag went off in a crash on April 7,a metal bracket came with it and sliced the driver’s owner’s ear. The complaint included photos showing a metal component sticking out above the driver’s seat, the report said. “It appears that the metal component caused a laceration to the driver’s ear/face,” the NHTSA documents read.
A NHTSA investigation will look for a pattern and may or may not lead to a recall. Hyundai spokesman Miles Johnson wrote the AP in an e-mail that, “Hyundai has no other reports of injury from side curtain air bag deployment in 2012 Elantras,” he wrote. He also wrote that neither NHTSA nor the company have been able yet to look at the car in question.
The current Elantra design rolled out for the 2011 model year.