U.S. auto safety regulators have broadened a probe into potentially defective airbags that may have failed to deploy, causing at least eight deaths.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating about 12.3 million airbags made by auto supplier ZF-TRW and installed in vehicles from Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi and Toyota.
The airbags are used in model-year vehicles ranging from 2010 to 2019, according to a government document.
They were installed on popular vehicles such as certain versions of the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Sonata, Jeep Compass and Kia Forte.
Investigators say the airbags may not deploy due to malfunctioning crash sensors. The defect may also prevent seat belt pre-tensioners from operating properly.
"ZF is committed to motor vehicle safety and is working cooperatively with NHTSA and our customers in the investigation," ZF said in a statement.
Airbag control units are complex devices that have bedeviled automakers in recent years, leading to numerous recalls and investigations.
Used car dealers and deadly defects: How dealers wrote a law to avoid fixing cars
Big Brother or a big help? Where are cameras in your car and what are they doing?
Career advice: How the Celtics' Marcus Morris made it to the top
In 2018, Hyundai recalled the 2011 Sonata, and sibling brand Kia recalled the 2012-13 Forte, covering 425,000 vehicles in total, to rectify the defect. The NHTSA investigation into those vehicles – which were potentially linked to four deaths, according to a government record – is now expanding.
In 2016, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.43 million vehicles to address the issue, including the 2010-14 Chrysler 200, Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger; the 2010-14 Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot; and the 2010-12 Dodge Caliber. Those vehicles had been potentially linked to three deaths as of September 2016, according to Fiat Chrysler.
The expanded investigation comes after investigators potentially linked two deaths in Toyota Corolla crashes to the defect: one in a 2018 model and another in a 2019 model.
It was not immediately clear which other vehicle models could be affected or whether additional recalls are coming.
New York Auto Show hits and misses: 4 winners, 4 losers from the show floor
Compact pickup is poised for a comeback: Ford, Hyundai, maybe even VW revive the once-dead model
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Feds investigate 12 million airbags in Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota vehicles