Government expands Hyundai Elantra air bag probe

DETROIT (AP) - U.S. safety regulators have added two model years to an investigation of an air bag problem with Hyundai Elantras that cut a car owner's ear in half.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it will look into 2011 and 2013 Elantras in addition to those from 2012. The agency also upgraded the probe to an engineering analysis, a step closer to a recall. No cars have been recalled.

The agency started investigating 123,000 2012 Elantras in May. But Monday it said only Korean-built Elantras have the part that caused the problem. About 75,000 were sold in the U.S.

In April, an Elantra owner told investigators a side air bag inflated in a crash and a metal bracket sliced the driver's ear.

Hyundai says the problem appears to be isolated.

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