Six automakers and supplier TRW face a U.S. federal lawsuit seeking class-action certification over defective airbag control units.
The complaint, filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, claims the automakers and U.S. supplier TRW, acquired by Germany's ZF Friedrichshafen in 2015, concealed airbag defects from consumers.
The automaker defendants in the suit include Kia Motors America, Hyundai Motor America, Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi Motors America, American Honda Motor and Toyota Motor U.S.A.
Kia, Hyundai and ZF TRW face another federal suit over the same issue filed April 29 by California law firms Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein, and Baron & Budd.
The most recent lawsuit claims the airbag control unit can "seize-up" during an accident, causing airbags to fail to deploy and a seat belt lock failure.
MLG, a California law firm, and Kaplan Fox and Kilsheimer, of New York, filed the suit on behalf of six plaintiffs who say they would not have bought their vehicles or paid less for them if they had known about the airbag control unit defect.
The lawsuit lists more than 50 models from Acura, Honda, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi and Toyota as containing the defective unit.
"I think this is the beginning of what we saw with Takata," Jonathan Michaels, an attorney for MLG, told Automotive News. "I think this is going to be a very large issue."
Federal courts set a multidistrict hearing for the multiple lawsuits regarding the airbag control unit defect for July 25 in Portland, Oregon, Michaels said.
NHTSA would not comment but confirmed an ongoing investigation into ZF TRW airbag control units.
In April, NHTSA expanded the investigation related to ZF TRW airbag control units to include 12.3 million vehicles by the same companies named in the lawsuit.
"The airbag control unit that's made by ZF TRW is in more than just the 12.3 million cars." Michaels said. "We expect to see that number rise pretty significantly."